15 Oct 2008

Kearney names line up for Tonga test

7:05 pm on 15 October 2008

The New Zealand rugby league coach Stephen Kearney has named a 19-strong squad for Saturday's one-off test against Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium.

The starting line-up includes Manly's grand final-winning centre Steve Matai, who joined the 2008 Rugby League World Cup squad in Auckland yesterday.

Also named for his third test and his first since 2006, in the wake of eligibility problems, is Warriors utility Nathan Fien.

He'll start at hooker in the match that will be the final build-up game for the Kiwis before their World Cup opener against Australia in Sydney on Sunday week.

Lance Hohaia will play at fullback while there are four other Warriors in the run-on line up with Jerome Ropati in the centres, Manu Vatuvei on the left wing, Sam Rapira in the front row and Simon Mannering in the second row.

Wests Tigers half Benji Marshall will play his first test outside Australia, named in the halves with Wigan 's Thomas Leuluai.

Marshall's previous three tests have all been against Australia while Melbourne back rower Sika Manu is in line to make his test debut.

He's one of six players named on the interchange bench.