The Kiwis will march out into unknown territory tomorrow against England (8am NZT) in Denver, Colorado.

Not only because of the experiment of taking a game to North America, but also for the lack of familiar faces in the New Zealand team.

Due to injuries, unavailability and retirement, there is a stack of big names missing and the team for new coach Michael Maguire's first match includes a remarkable seven debutants.

The interchange bench has only one cap between them, and Peta Hiku (10 tests) is the veteran of the backline.

Advertisement

Maguire added to the raw look of the team yesterday when he opted for rookie Tigers centre Esan Marsters over experienced Broncos utility Jordan Kahu. It was a tough decision - which Maguire left to the last possible moment - but Marsters' impressive club form won him the nod.

"I wanted to make sure I was thorough, given the fact that Jordan has been there and done that," said Maguire. "[But] I was very comfortable to go with [Esan]. He has been playing well for his club, he's very strong from the back field, bringing the ball back and [he] can offload. His size and strength is something I am looking forward to seeing on [Sunday]."

Marsters is typical of many in this new-look Kiwis team; they weren't in the frame for the 2017 World Cup, but have taken their opportunity.

Maguire is confident in his untested combinations, even if almost half the team will be singing the national anthem for the first time.

"It is unique," conceded Maguire, "but I have been very impressed with Jared [Waerea-Hargreaves], Issac [Luke] and Marty [Taupau] and how they have got around the boys.

"The guys who are debuting, they have all played at NRL level now, and they know what is required. Obviously it is a step up, but it gives these guys a moment in time to take their chance in the Kiwis jersey."

Maguire has opted for Taupau at lock, to match the size and physicality of the English pack.

"I like to have a bit of size in the forwards," said Maguire. "Having Marty there gives us some really good punch through the middle. He's got experience and great skills."

Luke is the key man of the spine, needing to guide young halves Kodi Nikorima and Te Maire Martin around the park.

Despite the fresh faces, it's an exciting team. There is pace and power in the backs, and plenty of offloading ability in the forwards, plus the freakish size of Nelson Asofa-Solomona.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner's rise is a heart warming story, given he was unwanted at the Warriors but has since managed to stand out in a struggling Bulldogs team.

As always, tomorrow's test will be decided in the trenches. Despite their big names, the Kiwis pack has struggled to subdue their opposites in recent years. England convincingly won the 2015 series, and only a Shaun Johnson field goal separated the teams in their last meeting (October 2016) when Jason Taumalolo provided the point of difference up front.

England also retain 12 of the team that played in the 2017 World Cup final, including key men such as Sam and Tom Burgess, James Graham and Gareth Widdop.

So surely the Kiwis will be underdogs? "Yes, but we will decide that when we play," said Maguire.

"We look young, but I am excited about the team and we know we have to work really hard.

" It's a test match, and we have to be alive for the 80 minutes and show we are capable of being at that level.

"We can change history by going out and performing really well and it gives us a chance to do that now."