New Zealand to hand out four debuts on Friday night

New Zealand will blood four rookies against Super League champions Leeds in their warm-up match at Headingley on Friday night.

Coach Stephen Kearney has named utility player Jordan Kahu at centre and Tuimoala Lolohea at scrum-half, with Kodi Nikorima and Sio Siua Taukeiaho set to come off the bench for their first appearances for the Kiwis.

Lolohea will form a new half-back partnership alongside Peta Hiku in the absence of established duo Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran, who are among a host of senior players ruled out of the tour through injury or illness.

“This will be an opportunity for those two halves to build combinations with the group around them,” said Kearney, who will be allowed to make up to 19 rotations from an extended bench.

“We also have guys that haven’t played since the last round of the NRL so this is a chance for them to blow out some cobwebs.”

The game will double as a run-out for the Kiwis ahead of their three-Test series against England – and a chance for the treble-winning Rhinos to mark the farewell of stalwarts Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield and Kylie Leuluai.

“This will be perfect preparation for us,” said Kearney. “Leeds will be honouring some pretty special players and they’re expecting a full house.

“We’re very aware of the history of this match, with the 1907 All Golds playing Leeds in their build-up to a Test series, so for me, this is an historic occasion in that sense too.”

New Zealand team: R Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters); J Nightingale (St George Illawarra), J Kahu (Brisbane), D Whare (Penrith), S Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters); P Hiku (Manly), T Lolohea; J Bromwich (Melbourne), I Luke (South Sydney), B Matulino, K Proctor (Melbourne), T Harris (Melbourne), M Taupau (Wests Tigers).

Subs (from): K Nikorima (Brisbane), A Blair (Brisbane), S Moa (Sydney Roosters), S Siua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters), A Glenn (Brisbane), G Beale (Cronulla), L Brown (Penrith).