League: New caps, new Kiwis captain for Anzac test

With Simon Mannering out with injury, Jesse Bromwich has been named as captain for the Kiwis. Photo / Getty Images
With Simon Mannering out with injury, Jesse Bromwich has been named as captain for the Kiwis. Photo / Getty Images

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney has named his squad to take on the Kangaroos in next Friday's Anzac test.

Jesse Bromwich will captain New Zealand for the first time, while only one Warriors player - Shaun Johnson - features in the side.

Penrith Panthers star Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has been named after previously missing out on opportunities to play for New Zealand due to injury (2014 Four Nations) and suspension (2015 Anzac Test).

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Watene-Zelezniak and Parramatta forward Manu Ma'u are the new caps.

Kearney said Bromwich deserves his opportunity to lead from the front.

"You just need to look at Jesse's performances over the past two years, when he's elevated himself to one of the premier front rowers in our game and at international level," Kearney said.

"But it's more than his performances - it's everything that he brings to the table. He's a wonderful leader in his own right.

"He ticks all the right boxes. We certainly saw that in England, where Adam Blair and Issac Luke were our captains, but Jesse was part of the leadership group and really stepped up to the plate.

"It was just a matter of time that he assumed the role we've given him this week."

Kearney said Watene-Zelezniak was very excited to get another chance after missing out twice before.

"We'll keep him away from the beach. In 2014, we took him down to the beach for a recovery, and he ended up rolling his ankle and breaking a bone in his foot.

"He a kid that's been in our Junior Kiwis programme and I remember watching him score four tries against the Junior Kangaroos a few years ago. He's one of those kids that has always been on the cusp of making it, now he finally gets that opportunity and I'm sure he'll do a wonderful job for us."

Kiwis squad:

• Adam Blair (Brisbane Broncos)
• Jesse Bromwich - captain (Melbourne Storm)
• Lewis Brown (Manly Sea Eagles)
• Greg Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs)
• Alex Glenn (Brisbane Broncos)
• Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm)
• Peta Hiku (Penrith Panthers)
• Shaun Johnson (NZ Warriors)
• Jordan Kahu (Brisbane Broncos)
• Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters)
• Manu Ma'u (Parramatta Eels)
• Sam Moa (Sydney Roosters)
• Jason Nightingale (St George Dragons)
• Kodi Nikorima (Brisbane Broncos)
• Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm)
• Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
• Martin Taupau (Manly Sea Eagles)
• Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers)
• Danny Levi (19th man) (Newcastle Knights)

- NZ Herald

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