Kiwis vs England: Unchanged NZ squad for first test

Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has stuck with his winning formula, retaining the same 17 players used in the win over the Kangaroos for New Zealand's first test against England in Hull on Sunday (NZ time).

Maguire guided the Kiwis to a 26-24 win over Australia at Mt Smart Stadium on October 13 and has rewarded the players that featured for their efforts.

Overall, the squad is very inexperienced, with 11 of the 17 players playing fewer than 10 tests.

"What we achieved in New Zealand against the Kangaroos was a start and the players recognise it was just that - a start," he said.

"Our focus since leaving New Zealand has been fixed on this first test. We have a group of players here who are exceptionally passionate about playing for the jersey.

"I've seen that. There are great signs for where we're going, but we need to make sure we do everything right this week."

Fullback Dallin Watene-Zeleziak will captain the team for the second time, with Joseph Manu and Brandon Smith both starting in their second tests.

Five-eighth Shaun Johnson is the most experienced player in the starting side, with 26 caps to his name. Adam Blair has played in 46 tests, but has been named on the interchange bench.

Kiwis lineup

The match is the first of three tests, with further games at Liverpool's Anfield and Elland Road in Leeds.

Kiwis: 1-Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (c), 2-Ken Maumalo, 3-Esan Marsters, 4-Joseph Manu, 5-Jordan Rapana, 6-Shaun Johnson, 7-Kodi Nikorima, 8-Jesse Bromwich, 9-Brandon Smith, 10-Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 11-Kevin Proctor, 12-Isaac Liu, 13-James Fisher-Harris.

*Interchange: 14-Kenny Bromwich, 15-Leeson Ah Mau, 16-Martin Taupau, 17-Adam Blair, 18-Jahrome Hughes, 19-Joseph Tapine

* Two to be omitted


Join us at 2:30am Sunday for live updates of the Kiwis vs England rugby league test