NRL.com decides: Our Kiwis team
Ahead of the mid-year Test between Australia and New Zealand, we at NRL.com have put our heads together to come up with our ideal Kiwis line-up for the Test on May 1 at Suncorp Stadium.
NRL.com's New Zealand 17
1. Peta Hiku (Sea Eagles)
The New Zealand and Sea Eagles Mr Fix-It could be switched to the centres considering Dean Whare has been hampered by a hamstring complaint of late, but we've picked him at fullback. Adept at playing anywhere in the back five, Hiku would have no complaints being in the front line but should do a handy job at the back too considering he is the incumbent. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is the other option, and could easily come into the side if Hiku is used in the centres.
2. Jason Nightingale (Dragons)
Nightingale is currently battling a planta fasciitis (foot) complaint so he may not be fit to take his place in the Kiwis team come May. If not, we are all for Penrith gun Dallin Watene-Zelezniak making his Test debut.
3. Dean Whare (Panthers)
The Panthers centre has had hamstring troubles of late but has been named to play the Sharks this weekend meaning he should be right to go against the Kangaroos.
4. Shaun Kenny Dowall (Roosters)
A standout for New Zealand by the end of last year's Four Nations, incumbent centre Kenny-Dowall looks set to resume his place for Stephen Kearney's men.
5. Manu Vatuvei (Warriors)
He was last week crowned New Zealand's most prolific try scorer in the NRL, and you can be sure 'The Beast' will be in this side to take on the Aussies.
6. Kieran Foran (Sea Eagles)
Missed last week with a hamstring complaint for the Sea Eagles but should be sweet to partner Shaun Johnson in the halves to take on the Kangaroos – despite the challenge from in-form Dragons playmaker Benji Marshall.
7. Shaun Johnson (Warriors)
The reigning Golden Boot recipient is set to face off with Johnathan Thurston for the second time in three weeks after Johnson's Warriors went down to Thurston's Cowboys in Round 7. Johnson is yet to truly recapture his dominant form of last season, but with his country's pride on the line in this one it could be the time the halfback brings back some of that 2014 magic.
8. Jesse Bromwich (Storm)
One of the world's best props, Bromwich will be one of the first picked by Stephen Kearney to help derail the efforts of his Melbourne Storm teammates Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith.
9. Issac Luke (Rabbitohs)
The nifty Rabbitohs hooker was labelled captaincy material by Stephen Kearney in March, and with Luke set to move to 14th on the all-time list of Kiwi Test caps you better believe he'll be at Suncorp Stadium on May 1.
10. Ben Matulino (Warriors)
A shock leader for the Dally M Medal for the majority of the NRL season so far, Matulino failed to play for the Kiwis last year but should be able to end his representative exodus next week.
11. Simon Mannering (Warriors)
The inspirational Test captain can do no wrong this season, making a massive 50 tackles a week for the Warriors, and is a certainty to play this game.
12. Kevin Proctor (Storm)
A permanent fixture in the Kiwis' team since 2012, Proctor's defensive steel will be on show again for the New Zealanders in this one.
13. Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
The Cowboys wrecking ball made his Test debut in the Four Nations and didn't look overawed at any point. Considering he is currently averaging 184.3 metres per game for North Queensland, the 21-year-old is set to be in the Kiwis team for the long haul.
14. Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers)
KAPOW! Taupau has gone from strength to strength for the Wests Tigers this season, after a breakout performance for New Zealand in the Four Nations final. Now adept at playing lock, Taupau's ruthless role in the middle of the paddock means he's more than ready to bust through Australia's central defenders.
15. Tohu Harris (Storm)
Since the departure of Ryan Hoffman from the Storm, Harris's performances have gone up several notches. Making huge numbers in both attack and defence for Melbourne, Harris is probably unlucky he isn't starting in our side.
16. Sam Moa (Roosters)
After withdrawing from the Kiwis' Four Nations squad late last year due to a family illness, Moa has been doing his best in the NRL this season to earn a recall. His chances of a Test call-up have been boosted by the bad news about fellow Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves's current injury woes.
17. Thomas Leuluai (Warriors)
While he didn't play in the Four Nations final last year, Leuluai is currently keeping veteran Nathan Friend on the bench in club land while Penrith utility Lewis Brown is fighting a rib injury. All signs point to a Leuluai recall.