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Kiwis name four newcomers for VB Test

NZRL NRL.com Sun, Apr 15, 2012 - 5:51 PM

Benji Marshall will lead a new look Kiwis side against the Kangaroos this Friday Copyright: SWPix.com / Gillette

The selection of four newcomers and the return of three players who missed last year’s Four Nations campaign feature in the Kiwis' squad named today to face the Kangaroos in the VB Test at Eden Park on April 20.

Those returning to the Kiwis are Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Frank Pritchard and Manu Vatuvei, while there will be plenty of interest in seeing how Jesse Bromwich, Josh Hoffman, Shaun Johnson and Jason Taumalolo fare for the first time.

Coach Stephen Kearney has an experienced team with 237 caps between them. But the new players bring a special element to this match, as does the pairing of Shaun Johnson and Benji Marshall in the halves.

“Shaun is one of the best attacking talents in the game”, says Kearney, “and we’re looking forward to seeing him combine with Benji.”

Joining Shaun Johnson as a likely debutant in the backs is Josh Hoffman.

“Josh was very close to making the team last year before getting injured,” says Stephen. “He has been superb at the back for the Broncos this year and he’ll bring some real firepower to the squad.”

The new members in the forwards have been leading the way for two of the form teams of the NRL competition.

“I worked with Jesse at the Storm and he has continued to develop into an outstanding professional. And you couldn’t resist the form of Jason. He’s one of the most dynamic athletes in the NRL and we’re delighted to have him in the Kiwis squad. It should really help his development.”

The Kiwis will be captained by Benji Marshall in his 26th Test.

The VB Test kicks-off at 8.15pm on Friday, April 20, at Eden Park. The curtain-raiser is between Otahuhu College and St Paul’s College (6.05pm KO). Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek and selected Mad Butcher stores.

KIWIS SQUAD – 2012 VB TEST

Player

Club

Gerard Beale

Brisbane Broncos

Adam Blair

Wests Tigers

Jesse Bromwich

Melbourne Storm

Nathan Fien

St George-Illawarra Dragons

Alex Glenn

Brisbane Broncos

Josh Hoffman

Brisbane Broncos

Shaun Johnson

Warriors

Shaun Kenny-Dowall

Sydney Roosters

Issac Luke

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Simon Mannering

Warriors

Benji Marshall

Wests Tigers

Ben Matulino

Warriors

Sam McKendry

Penrith Panthers

Jason Nightingale

St George-Illawarra Dragons

Frank Pritchard

Canterbury Bulldogs

Jeremy Smith

Cronulla Sharks

Jason Taumalolo

North Queensland Cowboys

Manu Vatuvei

Warriors

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Sydney Roosters