4 Nov 2016

Kiwis make two injury forced changes

7:32 am on 4 November 2016

The Kiwis have made two changes to the side to face Australia in their second outing of the Four Nations rugby league tournament in Coventry.

Kiwi forward Greg Eastwood.

Kiwi forward Greg Eastwood. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Wing Jason Nightingale (ankle) and prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (knee) have been ruled out with injuries sustained in the opening 17-16 win over England.

Replacing them are premiership-winning Cronulla Sharks' wing Gerard Beale and Bulldogs' veteran Greg Eastwood on the bench.

Forward Adam Blair has been promoted to the starting lineup at prop.

Shaun Johnson and Thomas Leuluai again pair in the halves, with Jesse Bromwich captaining the side from prop.

"It's tough loosing players of Nighty's [Nightingale] and Jared's [Waerea-Hargreaves] talent and experience," said Kiwis coach David Kidwell.

"We are fortunate to have quality reinforcements who understand what international football is all about."

Kidwell, who has been a strong advocate for the importance of team culture, has been impressed with the injured pair's attitude.

"They are both terrific players and they are wonderful people. They have been terrific examples of what 'Te Iwi Kiwi' is all about.

"Both Bealy [Beale] and Beasty [Eastwood] have been pushing hard for spots all tour, as well as the young guys in the team. As a coach, it's fantastic to know that everyone is working hard.

"I have complete confidence in all the players in our squad. That's why they were picked."

The team is based in Birmingham in preparation for the test against Australia at Ricoh Arena, Coventry 8pm on Saturday October 5 (UK)/9am, Sunday (NZ).

Meanwhile Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has included a number of his big guns in his 19-man squad for the game.

After missing the victory over Scotland, Johnathan Thurston, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Boyd Cordner, Matt Scott, Matt Gillett, and Valentine Holmes have been included.

Meninga says they know the Kiwis will be a significant challenge for them and so it'll be great to welcome back some of the players who missed the Scotland game.

The full NZ Kiwis team is:

Number Name

1 Jordan Kahu

2 Gerard Beale

3 Solomone Kata

4 Shaun Kenny-Dowall

5 Jordan Rapana

6 Thomas Leuluai

7 Shaun Johnson

8 Jesse Bromwich (c)

9 Issac Luke

10 Adam Blair

11 Kevin Proctor

12 Tohu Harris

13 Jason Taumalolo

14 Lewis Brown

15 Martin Taupau

16 Manu Ma'u

17 Greg Eastwood

18 Joseph Tapine

19 David Fusitu'a