Kiwis retain starting 13 but change bench for second Test

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney has stuck with the same starting 13 but has made alterations to his bench ahead of this Saturday’s second Test match against England in London this weekend.

After losing the opening encounter of the three-test series 26-12 to the home team, the Kiwis must defeat England this week to keep their hopes for the series alive.

The Kiwis led 10-0 after 30 minutes of last week’s contest in Hull, but lost their momentum once Kearney began calling on his replacements. And this time round, the head coach has retained his starting line-up, but recalled veterans Lewis Brown and Alex Glenn for debutants Kodi Nikorima and Siosiua Taukeiaho on the bench.

Nikorima and fellow newcomer Isaac Liu fill out a 19-man extended squad. “Both these guys we’re bringing in were a bit unlucky to miss out the week before and offer a great deal of experience,” admits Kearney. “Looking at last week’s game, that will be important for us this week.

“Lewis has done a great job for us in the past and Alex Glenn has had a wonderful year, so it’s just desserts for them.

“We’re in a position where we have to perform and these guys have done it for us before.”

The New Zealand line-up for the second test against England at London’s Olympic Stadium, 2.30pm Saturday (3.30am Sunday NZ) is:

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