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First Utility International Series Game 2 Preview: England V New Zealand

Both sides will play the first ever international rugby league match to be contested at London’s Olympic Stadium as England will look to secure series victory with a test to spare.

England boss Steve McNamara has stuck by his men that got him victory and named an unchanged 19-man squad from the one that beat New Zealand in the first test at Hull.

While Stephen Kearney has made two changes the provisional match day 17. Lewis Brown and Alex Glenn has replaced Kodi Nikorima and Sio Siua Taukeiaho. Issac Liu also joins the 19 man squad.

Speaking about the test being played at the Olympic Stadium, England coach Steve McNamara said “For the sport it is fantastic to be playing at the Olympic Stadium. We hope to ourselves proud again and the venue is fitting for a match like this. The game has come a long way in the last few years and to be the first rugby league team to play at this iconic stadium is huge for us.

Kiwi star Martin Taupau also spoke about the test “it’s a huge occasion for us and we’ve got to step it up another gear and bring it to them in London and we can’t wait for that.”

Officials are hoping for a 48,000 crowd at the stadium which would the biggest international crowd in the country since the World Cup semi final in 2013 also played in London that time at Wembley Stadium.

The test will be broadcast on BBC One in the UK with programme starting at 2pm and Sky Sport 2 in New Zealand with programme starting at 3.15am.

Fox sports have also decided to show the final two tests in Australia.

Squads

England: John Bateman, Joe Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Mike Cooper, Leroy Cudjoe, Liam Farrell, Brett Ferress, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Zak Hardaker, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Sean O’Loughlin, James Roby, Kallum Watkins, Ben Westwood, Elliot Whitehead, Gareth Widdop, George Williams.

New Zealand: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Jason Nightingale, Jordan Kahu, Dean Whare, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Peta Hiku, Tuimoala Lolohea, Jesse Bromwich, Issac Luke, Sam Moa, Kevin Proctor, Tohu Harris, Adam Blair, Lewis Brown, Martin Taupau, Ben Matulino, Alex Glenn, Issac Liu, Kodi Nikorima.

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