RLWC: Locke keyed in for Kiwis

Vodafone Warriors fullback Kevin Locke (pictured) will play his sixth Test when the Kiwis face Scotland in their Rugby League World Cup quarter-final at Headingley in Leeds on Saturday morning (9.00 kick-off NZT). Photosport


With first-choice fullback Josh Hoffman carrying a shoulder injury from last weeks 56-10 rout of Papua New Guinea, Locke was today included in a list of 19 players for the play-off.


Coach Stephen Kearney hasnt yet confirmed a starting line-up but Locke is the only specialist fullback included.


He started his international career with four appearances in the Kiwis end of season campaign in 2011.


After playing in the warm-up match against Cook Islands last month he had his fifth Test outing in the Rugby League World Cup Group B clash against France in Avignon.


Of the 19 players named, there is some doubt whether Vodafone Warriors wing Manu Vatuvei will play. He has a knee complaint which may see him ruled out this week with Jason Nightingale taking his place. If Vatuvei is cleared, its anticipated Nightingale will drop out.


The other player to miss out is expected to be one of the five props named. The five players left out so far are Thomas Leuluai, Krisnan Inu, Greg Eastwood, Alex Glenn and Hoffman.


The contest will be the first-ever between New Zealand and Scotland, the Scots making it through to the last eight by coming through Group C unbeaten with two wins and a draw.


The Kiwis emerged from the group phase as the most prolific points-scoring team at the tournament. After beating the Cook Islands 50-0 in their build-up, they went on to beat Toa Samoa 42-24, France 48-0 and the Kumuls 56-10, a total of 146 points scored with only 34 conceded.


The squad named is (in brackets Kiwi numbers and Test appearances):


Jesse Bromwich (775, 5)

Kieran Foran (757, 12)

Bryson Goodwin (752, 7)

Shaun Johnson (774, 5)

Sam Kasiano (777, 4)

Kevin Locke (758, 5)

Issac Luke (749, 26)

Simon Mannnering, captain (731, 32)

Ben Matulino (756, 16)

Sam Moa (780, 2)

Jason Nightingale (747, 19)

Frank-Paul Nuuausala (754, 12)

Frank Pritchard (718, 26)

Elijah Taylor (770, 7)

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (779, 3)

Manu Vatuvei (720, 22)

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (755, 14)

Dean Whare (776, 4)

Sonny Bill Williams (706, 9)