Kiwis call-up for Hoffman
Kiwis looking for first Anzac Test victory since 1998
Last Updated: 15/04/12 11:04am
Josh Hoffman: named in New Zealand squad for the first time
New Zealand have named four uncapped players in a 19-man squad for Friday's Anzac Test against Australia at Auckland's Eden Park.
Brisbane's Queensland-born full-back Josh Hoffman gets a call-up in the absence of Kevin Locke, while New Zealand Warriors half-back Shaun Johnson will be the new partner for skipper Benji Marshall.
"Shaun is one of the best attacking talents in the game and we're looking forward to seeing him combine with Benji," Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney said.
"Josh was very close to making the team last year before getting injured. He has been superb at the back for the Broncos this year and he'll bring some real firepower to the squad."
The 24-year-old Hoffman qualifies for the Kiwis through his New Zealand-born father Shane.
Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne) and Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland) are the other new faces, while back three-quarters Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Manu Vatuvei return after missing last year's Four Nations Series through injury.
There is also a recall for Frank Pritchard, a year after pledging his allegiance to Samoa, but there is no place for Wigan's Thomas Leuluai because of the travelling involved.
As expected, Melbourne hooker Cameron Smith has been named as Darren Lockyer's successor as Australia captain, with Paul Gallen taking over the vice-captaincy role.
South Sydney's giant forward David Taylor will make his debut for the Kangaroos in the second row after being forced out of the 2011 Four Nations due to injury while North Queensland prop James Tamou is set to make his bow off the bench.
The Kiwis will be looking for their first Anzac Test victory since overcoming the Kangaroos 22-16 at North Harbour Stadium in 1998 - the last time the fixture was staged in New Zealand.
Last year's clash was switched to the Gold Coast following the earthquake in Christchurch.
New Zealand (from): G Beale (Brisbane); A Blair (Wests Tigers), J Bromwich (Melbourne), N Fien (St George Illawarra), A Glenn (Brisbane), J Hoffman (Brisbane), S Johnson, S Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters), I Luke (South Sydney), S Mannering, B Marshall (Wests Tigers, capt), B Matulino, S McKendry (Penrith), J Nightingale (St George Illawarra), F Pritchard (Canterbury), J Smith (Cronulla), J Taumalolo (North Queensland), M Vatuvei, J Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters).
Australia: B Slater (Melbourne); D Boyd (Newcastle), G Inglis (South Sydney), J Hodges (Brisbane), A Uate (Newcastle); J Thurston North Queensland), C Cronk (Melbourne); P Gallen (Cronulla), C Smith (Melbourne, capt), D Shillington (Canberra), D Taylor (South Sydney), S Thaiday (Brisbane), L Lewis (Penrith).
Interchange: D Cherry-Evans (Manly), B Hannant (Brisbane), J Tamou (North Queensland), A Watmough (Manly).