Whangarei's Adam Blair will hope to make an impact off the bench, when the Kiwis take on the Kangaroos this weekend.

David Kidwell's first match as coach will also feature two debutants: Warriors centre Solomone Kata and Canberra wing Jordan Rapana.

Blair has impressed for the Brisbane Broncos throughout 2016 and is excited to be playing under the coaching leadership of Kidwell.

"From everything I know about David, he's a really passionate New Zealander," Blair said.


"Every time he speaks, he speaks from the heart and is honest and is willing. You look up to David because he's well-respected around New Zealand.

"David has been around with Stephen [Kearney] throughout the last couple of years, so he understands what Stephen's done, where we're heading, what we believe in and what we want.

"He's really clear on what he wants, too, and how he wants us to be portrayed."

Kidwell has made seven changes from the side that was shut out 16-0 in the Downer Trans-Tasman Test in May.

Seventeen-test veteran Jared Waerea-Hargreaves makes his return to the international arena, last appearing for New Zealand at the 2013 World Cup.

Re-joining him in the front row is the most-capped player in the side, Issac Luke, playing his 37th test match.

Jesse Bromwich captains the team, supported by fellow Melbourne Storm players Kevin Proctor and Tohu Harris.

Jason Taumalolo starts at lock after a stellar 2016 season, in which he was the joint Dally M medallist and the RLPA Player of the Year.


In the halves, Kidwell has combined the experience of Thomas Leuluai, who made his debut 13 years ago, with the flair of his Warriors teammate Shaun Johnson.

Blair said this Four Nations campaign is vital to continuing their world-beating ways.

"This series is a stepping stone towards where we want to be," the former co-captain said.

"We're still No 1 and we want to come back as No 1.

"We do it really tough over there, so it's important we go over and put our best foot forward.

"We've worked so hard over the last eight years to get us in this position, to let it all slip would be disappointing."

The Australian side is yet to be named. Kick off is at 10pm on Saturday.

New Zealand: Jordan Kahu, Jason Nightingale, Solomone Kata, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jordan Rapana, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jesse Bromwich (c), Issac Luke, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Kevin Proctor, Tohu Harris, Jason Taumalolo. Reserves: Lewis Brown, Martin Taupau, Manu Ma'u, Adam Blair, Joseph Tapine (18th man), Gerard Beale (19th man).