Beale and Duffie called in Kiwis squad
Melbourne winger Matthew Duffie and Brisbane fullback Gerard Beale are the two newcomers named tonight in the Kiwis' 19-man squad for Friday night's Anzac Test against the Kangaroos at Skilled Park in Robina on Australia's Gold Coast.
Aucklander Duffie (20) made his NRL debut for the Storm last year while Beale, also 20, first played for Brisbane in 2009.
Also yet to make his Test debut is Warriors utility Lewis Brown, who was in the Kiwis' Four Nations squad last year.
Three other players who missed the Four Nations success ? props Sam Rapira and Fuifui Moimoi plus halfback Kieran Foran ? have earned recalls while the other 13 players all lined up for the Kiwis in their 16-12 victory against the Kangaroos at Suncorp Stadium last November. Of the other four who appeared in the final, winger Sam Perrett and forward Sika Manu are out of contention with injury while front rower Frank Paul Nuuausala hasn't gained selection and hooker Thomas Leuluai hasn't been brought back from the United Kingdom.
"As usual there are some players who couldn't be considered through injury but that's always a factor in team selection, one you can't control," said Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney.
"We're excited about the group of players we've been able to bring together and it's a real thrill to have two new players in the squad in Matt (Duffie) and Gerard (Beale).
"While we've had some success against Australia in the last few years, we haven't done well in the Anzac Test. The challenge for us is to prepare really well to give ourselves a chance of competing with them. They're always difficulties to contend with at any time and especially at this stage of the season.
"The Four Nations doesn't matter to us now. That was last year and our attention needs to be on this one Test."
Apart from Beale, Brown and Duffie, the core of the side is now highly experienced at Test level with Lance Hohaia, Simon Mannering, Benji Marshall and Adam Blair all with more than 20 international appearances each while several others are within reach of the same mark.
The Kiwis are in the process of assembling on the Gold Coast tonight with the five players from the Warriors plus Penrith prop Sam McKendry flying from Auckland after the Warriors' 26-18 NRL victory over the Panthers at Mount Smart Stadium this afternoon.
The Kiwis have a team photo appointment and a media session at Skilled Park tomorrow morning before their first training run in the afternoon.
The starting line-up and interchange bench won't be confirmed until later in the week.
KIWI SQUAD - 2011 ANZAC TEST
Gerard Beale (Brisbane Broncos)
Adam Blair (Melbourne Storm)
Lewis Brown (New Zealand Warriors)
Matthew Duffie (Melbourne Storm)
Greg Eastwood (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Nathan Fien (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Kieran Foran (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
Bronson Harrison (Canberra Raiders)
Lance Hohaia (New Zealand Warriors)
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters)
Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Sam McKendry (Penrith Panthers)
Simon Mannering (New Zealand Warriors)
Benji Marshall [c] (Wests Tigers)
Ben Matulino (New Zealand Warriors)
Fuifui Moimoi (Parramatta Eels)
Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Sam Rapira (New Zealand Warriors) Jeremy Smith (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)