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England Aim for Strong Four Nations Start against New Zealand

England host New Zealand in Huddersfield on Saturday as both sides look to get off to the perfect start in this year’s Four Nations.

The sold out tie at the John Smith’s Stadium will see Wayne Bennett’s side take on very familiar opposition in the Kiwis.

The two teams met last year in a three-match test series won 2-1 by England – the hosts’ first test series win over a southern hemisphere side since 2007.

And England will be hoping to secure another victory over their rivals at the weekend which would give them the perfect start to this year’s competition.

The home side have already made solid preparation for the Four Nations with a 40-6 thrashing of France – although England will be fully aware that the Kiwis present a much tougher test.

Widnes Vikings skipper Kevin Brown, who was making his first appearance in an England jersey for six years, was a standout performer, scoring a try while also assisting another from Gareth Widdop.

Winger Ryan Hall will be hoping to increase his international try-scoring tally after making it 28 tries in as many appearances for the national team with a brilliant performance against the French.

As for the visitors, New Zealand were defeated 26-6 by Australia in their warm-up game, with second rower Kevin Proctor the only scorer for the Kiwis.

Saturday’s game follows Australia’s opener against Scotland, as the Kangaroos come into the tournament as favourites.

England likely line-up: Jonny Lomax, Jermaine McGillvary, Kallum Watkins, Dan Sarginson, Ryan Hall, Gareth Widdop, Luke Gale, James Graham, Josh Hodgson, Tom Burgess, Elliot Whitehead, Liam Farrell, Sam Burgess (Interchange: George Burgess, Chris Hill, Mike Cooper, Kevin Brown)

New Zealand likely line-up: Jordan Kahu, Jason Nightingale, Solomone Kata, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jordan Rapana, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jesse Bromwich, Issac Luke, Adam Blair, Kevin Proctor, Tohu Harris, Jason Taumalolo (Interchange: Lewis Brown, Marty Taupau, Manu Ma’u, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves)


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