4 May 2009

Benji Marshall to captain Kiwis

6:09 pm on 4 May 2009

The Wests Tigers playmaker Benji Marshall will captain the Kiwis in the Anzac Rugby League Test against Australia in Brisbane on Friday night.

Marshall, who didn't play for the Tigers in their 20-22 loss to the Bulldogs, will lead an 18-man squad which will be trimmed to 17 after the selectors have considered medical reports on St George Illawarra's Jeremy Smith and Penrith's Frank Pritchard.

Marshall takes over from Nathan Cayless, who announced his retirement from test football last month after leading New Zealand to its first World Cup final win over Australia in Brisbane last November.

Two other former test captains are named in the squad - Roy Asotasi and Jeremy Smith, who was injured in the Dragons 12-11 home win over the Warriors.

The squad's largely based on players used in the World Cup, apart from the injured Warriors prop Sam Rapira and the Wigan halfback-hooker Thomas Leuluai.

The Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney says it's too hard to bring back players from the Super League for a one-off test

Coming in for Cayless and Rapira are Asotasi and Jeff Lima while Frank Pritchard and Iosia Soliola who were ruled out of the World Cup with injury, have been recalled.

The rest of the squad is:Adam Blair, Greg Eastwood, David Fa'alogo, Nathan Fien, Bronson Harrison. Lance Hohaia, Isaac Luke, Simon Mannering, Jason Nightingale, Sam Perrett, Jerome Ropati and Manu Vatuvei.