The Kiwis have made a shock late change to tonight's lineup, with the Melbourne Storm's Kenny Bromwich coming into the side at the expense of Brad Takairangi.
It means that Tohu Harris will play at centre, with Kodi Nikorima shifting from the interchange bench to start in the No6 jersey.
The last minute pre-kickoff switch brings back memories of the second test against England last year, when Kearney replaced Tui Lolohea with Nikorima at the last minute.
It's a considerable surprise - as Bromwich - the elder brother of Jesse - is not usually an automatic selection in the 17 at the Storm.
It's a risk, as Takairangi is a specialist centre, but Kearney must feel he needs extra cover in the forwards.
The Kangaroos are as named, with Aidan Guerra dropping off the extended bench.
The Kiwis have yet to win a test at Newcastle, losing both of the previous encounters on the Central Coast including a 42-6 hammering in 2011.
The weather conditions are perfect at Hunter Stadium. No rain is forecast and there is barely a breath of wind.