Kiwis unchanged for England opener

Updated: 

New Zealand coach David Kidwell has named an unchanged side for their Four Nations opener against England on Saturday.

Back-rower Greg Eastwood comes into a 17-man squad for the clash against the hosts in Huddersfield at the expense of Joseph Tapine, but Kidwell has named the same starting line-up that took to the field in the defeat against Australia this month.

Kidwell has been encouraged with the way the defending champions have been preparing ahead of their encounter with Wayne Bennett's side.

"I'm really happy with how the boys have trained. We understand the challenge that's ahead of us and we need to be at our best," said Kidwell.

"In Perth, a lot of our guys hadn't played for a long period of time. The result wasn't what we wanted, but all the players were better off for the run and we will look to build from that."

He added: "It's no secret this game is going to be won up front. Both teams have strong forward packs and we need our middle men to lead the way."

 

New Zealand team:

Jordan Kahu, Jason Nightingale, Solomone Kata, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jordan Rapana, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jesse Bromwich, Issac Luke, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Kevin Proctor, Tohu Harris, Jason Taumalolo.

Replacements: Lewis Brown, Martin Taupau, Manu Ma'u, Adam Blair, Gerard Beale, Greg Eastwood.