Australia coach Tim Sheens has called up Kurt Gidley for the clash with New Zealand
Last Updated: 18/04/13 12:20pm
Kurt Gidley: Will return to the Australia set-up after a long absence.
Kurt Gidley is set to make his first appearance for Australia for nearly three years, having been named on the bench for Friday's Test against New Zealand.
Coach Tim Sheens has made five changes to the side who defeated the Kiwis 18-10 in Townsville last autumn, as regulars Justin Hodges, Luke Lewis, Anthony Watmough and Sam Thaiday have returned from injury.
Canterbury duo Josh Morris and Tony Williams and Melbourne's Ryan Hoffman are the men to make way, while Canberra prop David Shillington is injured and the versatile Gidley will have a place on the bench ahead of Robbie Farah.
Gidley last played for the Kangaroos in their loss to the Kiwis in the 2010 Four Nations final, and he missed most of the 2012 season with a dislocated left shoulder.
New Zealand have given teenage winger or full-back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck a shock call-up into their squad.
"Roger has been on our radar for a while," said coach Stephen Kearney. "He's a Kiwi with a very bright future."
The young Sydney Roosters player is the only uncapped player selected by Kearney but the eagerly awaited return of his team mate Sonny Bill Williams has been put on hold due to injury.
Williams has made an impressive return to the NRL after a five-year stint in rugby and was considered a certain starter but aggravated an old knee injury against Canterbury Bulldogs on Friday.
Former Wigan half-back Thomas Leuluai was expected to receive a call-up following his return to the NRL this year but his form for New Zealand Warriors has been disappointing and he has been left out.
The loss of Williams is not the only potential blow for the Kiwis because his logical replacement Benji Marshall misses out and Shaun Johnson suffered a knee injury during New Zealand Warriors' loss to Canberra on Saturday night.
The Test is expected to serve as good preparation for the two sides ahead of the World Cup in England and Wales at the end of the season.
Australia: B Slater, D Boyd, G Inglis, J Hodges, B Morris, J Thurston, C Cronk, M Scott, C Smith, J Tamou, G Bird, S Thaiday, P Gallen.
Replacements: K Gidley, L Lewis, N Myles, A Watmough.
New Zealand squad: J Bromwich, K Foran, A Glenn, J Hoffman, S Johnson, S Kenny-Dowall, I Luke, S Mannering, B Matulino, S McKendry, J Nightingale, S Perrett, F Pritchard, K Proctor, J Smith, E Taylor, R Tuivasa-Sheck, J Waerea-Hargreaves, D Whare.