Date: Saturday November 8th
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 8pm (Local time)
New Zealand: P Hiku (Manly), J Nightingale (St George Illawarra), S Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters), D Whare (Penrith), M Vatuvei (New Zealand Warriors); K Foran (Manly), S Johnson (New Zealand Warriors); J Bromwich (Melbourne), I Luke (South Sydney), A Blair (Wests Tigers), S Mannering (New Zealand Warriors, capt), K Proctor (Melbourne), J Taumalolo (North Queensland).
Interchange: T Leuluai (New Zealand Warriors), G Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs), M Taupau (Wests Tigers), T Harris (Melbourne).
England: S Tomkins (New Zealand Warriors); J Charnley (Wigan), K Watkins (Leeds), D Sarginson (Wigan), R Hall (Leeds); G Widdop (St George Illawarra), M Smith (Wigan); G Burgess (South Sydney), J Hodgson (Hull KR), J Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), L Farrell (Wigan), J Tomkins (Wigan), S O’Loughlin (Wigan, capt).
Interchange: D Clark (Castleford), B Ferres (Huddersfield), T Burgess (South Sydney), C Hill (Warrington).
England will be looking to avenge last year’s 20-18 World Cup semi-final defeat when they face New Zealand this Saturday.
A last gasp converted try from Shaun Johnson put the Kiwi’s through to the World Cup final last November at England’s expense, in what was a great advert for international rugby league.
New Zealand have all but secured their place in next Saturday’s Four Nations final after two wins from two so far. An impressive second half performance saw them defeat rivals Australia 30-12 in week one of the tournament, and a late Shaun Kenny-Dowall try saw them edge a defiant Samoan side 14-12 in Whangarei last Saturday. A win or draw will see them secure their place in the final, although defeat should still see them through thanks to their superior score difference.
Thomas Leuluai and Greg Eastwood are recalled to the bench for Stephen Kearney’s side, as Suaia Matagi and Bodene Thompson drop out.
Steve McNamara has named an unchanged side from the team that narrowly lost 16-12 to Australia last Sunday. Captain Sean O’Loughlin and forward Liam Farrell have both avoided any disciplinary action after being put on report during the defeat to the Kangaroos. Dan Sarginson retains his place in the centres after impressing on debut.
England must win by 10 or more points to secure their place in next week’s final. Defeat would see them relying on Samoa to beat Australia on Sunday.
There’s a possibility the final in Wellington will be played between the two sides and Saturday’s game could give an indication as to which nation will be lifting the trophy as the Four Nations’ Champions.