Rugby League World Cup: Te Maire Martin start at No. 6 for Kiwis' quarter-final clash with Fiji

  • 14/11/2017

The Kiwis have made two notable changes for their Rugby League World Cup encounter with Fiji.

The match, at Wellington's Westpac Stadium on Saturday, will be Danny Levi's first one where he is in the starting lineup.

The Wellington hooker earns a promotion in place of the dropped Thomas Leuluai, who misses out on the 21 altogether.

Levi has played all of his three tests from the bench since his debut in round one of the World Cup.

"In the last three games, from what we have seen, he thoroughly deserves that starting spot," Kiwis coach David Kidwell said on Tuesday.

Te Maire Martin, meanwhile, has also been promoted to the starting 13, partnering Shaun Johnson in the halves. That sees Kodi Nikorima, who was at standoff for the loss against Tonga, set to play a utility role in jersey 17.

Adam Blair will again skipper the side from lock, while three other Wellington men, Jordan Rapana, Joseph Tapine and Nelson Asofa-Solomona, will also get their chance to play in front of their home fans.

Kidwell said it was important to play "tough and smart football", with the latter lacking against Tonga.

He said the preparation so far this week in Wellington had been "faultless" and, following a tough training session on Tuesday, the players would have Wednesday off.

Kiwis: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Dean Whare, Brad Takairangi, Jordan Rapana, Te Maire Martin, Shaun Johnson, Martin Taupau, Danny Levi, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Simon Mannering, Joseph Tapine, Adam Blair (captain).

Interchange (from): Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Russell Packer, Isaac Liu, Kodi Nikorima, Kenny Bromwich, Jason Nightingale, Peta Hiku, Addin Fonua-Blake.