By PETER JESSUP

The Kiwis will return to North Harbour Stadium for the first time since 1998 for their test against Australia on October 18.

The building of a new east stand at Ericsson Stadium, home to internationals since the tri-series in 1999, has forced the shift.

The game kicks off at the unusual time of 5.30pm to suit television, the scheduling accommodating the NPC semifinals to be played that day.

Talk of a warmup game between the Kiwis and the New Zealand A side, who will be in camp before leaving on October 13 for their tour of England, has apparently been scotched, not least because Kiwis coach Daniel Anderson wasn't keen.

The 22-man A squad will be named after the Bartercard Cup finals. They face a demanding schedule, with games against Cumbria at Whitehaven on October 19, a national selection at Keighley three days later, Warrington on October 26, the full Great Britain team at Headingly, Leeds, on October 2, as their warm-up for the Kangaroos tour, before winding up the tour with a match against a division one selection at Leigh on November 1.

One selector, Bob Bailey, has been watching games around the country, but the squad, to be put together by Bailey, Phil Bergman, Len Reid and coach Gerard Stokes, is expected to come from the national competition.

Bartercard minor premiers Canterbury host Marist-Richmond in one semifinal at Rugby League Park, Christchurch, at 2.30pm on Sunday, with the winner going straight to the grand final a fortnight later, while Mt Albert meet the Eastern Tornadoes at Ericsson at 2pm in the other.

The loser of the second semi is out, and the winner meets the loser of the Christchurch game in the major final, which is the curtainraiser to the Warriors' final round-robin match against Wests at Ericsson on September 6.