Kiwis go unchanged for deciding Test match of series

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney has named a largely unchanged line-up for the third and deciding test against England at Wigan’s DW Stadium on Saturday.

Kodi Nikorima, who was a late change at half-back in last week’s playing line-up and took the field at the Olympic Stadium, will wear number seven after being given the vote of confidence by Kearney.

The only change sees Gerard Beale replace Tuimoala Lolohea in the extended 19-man squad. In the process, Kearney keeps faith in the group that ground out a 9-2 victory in London, levelling the series at 1-1.

“These lads got the job done last week and it was a good performance from them,” says Kearney, who has now won more games (23) than any other Kiwis coach before him.

“I didn’t feel there was a need to change the team.”

With victory last week, Kearney (23-16-1) moved past Frank Endacott (22-11-2) for the most wins by a Kiwis coach.

The full squad for Saturday’s test is:

1-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
2-Jason Nightingale
3-Jordan Kahu
4-Dean Whare
5-Shaun Kenny-Dowall
6-Peta Hiku
7-Kodi Nikorima
8-Jesse Bromwich
9-Issac Luke
10-Sam Moa
11-Kevin Prcotor
12-Tohu Harris
13-Adam Blair
14-Lewis Brown
15-Martin Taupau
16-Ben Matulino
17-Alex Glenn
18-Isaac Liu
19-Gerard Beale