This time last year the Kiwis ended their Anzac Test drought with their first success in the fixture since 1998.

More than that the impressive 26-12 victory over a full-strength Australian side was their third straight against their rivals after back-to-back wins in the 2014 Four Nations.

Tonight at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle they seek a fourth consecutive win over Australia, a feat not achieved since 1952-53.

In justifying the Four Nations losses in Brisbane and Wellington in 2014, Australian observers made much of the number of first-choice players the Kangaroos were missing. The same excuse couldn’t be used for the 2015 Anzac Test when they had their big names but found themselves 6-26 down at halftime.

This time the Kiwis have been challenged to bring together their best combination.

For one reason or another they have only two players from the backline used at Suncorp Stadium last year (Jason Nightingale and Shaun Johnson) and seven of the forwards (Jesse Bromwich, Tohu Harris, Kevin Proctor, Greg Eastwood, Jason Taumalolo, Martin Taupau and Sam Moa).

Missing when this year’s team was originally named were Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Manu Vatuvei, Kieran Foran, Issac Luke, Simon Mannering and Thomas Leuluai while Peta Hiku and Shaun Kenny-Dowall were ruled out this week. Also forced out after being named in the squad initially this week was Brisbane second rower Alex Glenn.

Other contenders not available included Tuimoala Lolohea, Dean Whare and Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

While Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney has had greater depth to pick from despite losing so much prime talent there’s no question the New Zealanders are at huge odds to win tonight.

Every victory over the Kangaroos is an upset of some sort – some more than others. This will certainly be one of the latter against an Australian combination oozing quality and experience.

 

2016 KIWIS | ANZAC TEST

 

GERARD BEALE

(Cronulla Sharks)

Born: July 18, 1990

Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia

Position: Fullback/Centre/Wing

Height: 182cm

Weight: 95kg

Junior Club: Logan Brothers (Queensland)

Other NRL Clubs: Brisbane Broncos (2009-2012), St George Illawarra Dragons (2013-2014)

Kiwi Number: 767

Test Debut: v Australia, Newcastle, 2011

Tests: 7 (2011-2014)

Test Points: 12 (3 tries)

 

ADAM BLAIR

(Brisbane Broncos)

Born: March 20, 1986

Birthplace: Whangarei, NZ

Position: Prop/Second Row/Loose Forward

Height: 188cm

Weight: 108kg

Junior Club: Northland Carvers (Northland)

Other NRL Clubs: Melbourne Storm (2006-2011), Wests Tigers (2012-2014)

Kiwi Number: 732

Test Debut: v Australia, Auckland, 2006

Tests: 34 (2006-2015)

Test Points: 8 (2 tries)

 

JESSE BROMWICH

(Melbourne Storm)

Born: May 3, 1989

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Position: Prop

Height: 194cm

Weight: 114kg

Junior Club: Manurewa Marlins (Auckland)

Other NRL Clubs: Nil

Kiwi Number: 775

Test Debut: v Australia, Auckland, 2012

Tests: 17 (2012-2015)

Test Points: 8 (2 tries)

 

LEWIS BROWN

(Manly Sea Eagles)

Born: October 3, 1986

Birthplace: Christchurch, NZ

Position: Second Row/Centre

Height: 179cm

Weight: 98kg

Junior Club: Riccarton Knights (Christchurch)

Other NRL Clubs: Vodafone Warriors (2009-2012), Penrith Panthers (2013-2015)

Kiwi Number: 762

Test Debut: v Australia, Robina, 2011

Tests: 10 (2011-2015)                                      

Test Points: 4 (1 try)

 

GREG EASTWOOD

(Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

Born: March 10, 1987

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Position: Prop/Second Row/Loose Forward

Height: 184cm

Weight: 112kg

Junior Club: Manurewa Marlins (Auckland)

Other Clubs: Brisbane Broncos (2005-2008), Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (2009), Leeds Rhinos (2010)

Kiwi Number: 737

Test Debut: v Australia, Brisbane, 2007

Tests: 24 (2007-2015)

Test Points: 12 (3 tries)

 

TOHU HARRIS

(Melbourne Storm)

Born: January 7, 1992

Birthplace: Hastings, NZ

Position: Second Row/Prop 

Height: 195cm

Weight: 112kg

Junior Club: Tamatea rugby union (Hawke’s Bay)

Other NRL Clubs: Nil

Kiwi Number: 778

Test Debut: v Australia, Canberra, 2013

Tests: 10 (2013-2015)

Test Points: 8 (2 tries)

 

SHAUN JOHNSON

(Vodafone Warriors)

Born: September 9, 1990

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Position: Halfback 

Height: 179cm

Weight: 89kg

Junior Club: Hibiscus Coast Raiders (Auckland)

Other NRL Clubs: Nil

Kiwi Number: 774

Test Debut: v Australia, Auckland, 2012

Tests: 14 (2012-2015)

Test Points: 128 (7 tries, 51 goals)

 

JORDAN KAHU

(Brisbane Broncos)

Born: January 28, 1991

Birthplace: Lower Hutt, NZ

Position: Centre/Wing/Fullback

Height: 183cm

Weight: 94kg

Junior Club: Petone rugby union (Wellington)

Other NRL Clubs: Nil  

Kiwi Number: 788

Test Debut: v England, Hull, 2015

Tests: 3 (2015)                           

Test Points: 7 (try, goal, field goal)

 

MANU MA’U

(Parramatta Eels)

Born: August 24, 1988

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Position: Second Row

Height: 184cm

Weight: 103kg

Junior Clubs: Richmond Rovers, Marist Saints  

Other NRL Clubs: Nil

Kiwi Number: Yet to make debut for NZ   

Kiwi Test Debut: Yet to make debut for NZ

Tests: 2 for Tonga (2014)

Test Points: 0

 

SAM MOA

(Sydney Roosters)

Born: June 14, 1986

Birthplace: Tonga

Position: Prop

Height: 183cm

Weight: 105kg

Junior Club: Mangere East Hawks (Auckland)

Other Clubs: Cronulla Sharks (2008), Hull FC (2009-2012)

Kiwi Number: 780

Kiwi Test Debut: v Toa Samoa, Warrington, 2013

Tests: 8 for Kiwis (2013-2015), 5 Tests for Mate Ma’a Tonga (2008 & 2013)

Test Points: 8 (2 tries)

 

JASON NIGHTINGALE

(St George Illawarra Dragons)

Born: September 20, 1986

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Position: Wing

Height: 183cm

Weight: 91kg

Junior Club: Renown United (New South Wales)

Other NRL Clubs: Nil

Kiwi Number: 747

Test Debut: v Australia, Sydney, 2008

Tests: 28 (2008-2015)

Test Points: 68 (17 tries)

 

KODI NIKORIMA

(Brisbane Broncos)

Born: April 3, 1994

Birthplace: Palmerston North, NZ

Position: Halfback/Standoff/Hooker

Height: 174cm

Weight: 85kg

Junior Club: Aspley Devils (Queensland)

Other NRL Clubs: Nil  

Kiwi Number: 790

Test Debut: v England, Hull, 2015

Tests: 3 (2015)                                      

Test Points: 0

 

KEVIN PROCTOR

(Melbourne Storm)

Born: February 28, 1989

Birthplace: Te Kuiti, NZ

Position: Second Row

Height: 189cm

Weight: 105kg

Junior Club: Tugun Seahawks (Queensland)

Other NRL Clubs: Nil

Kiwi Number: 771

Test Debut: v Australia, Townsville, 2012

Tests: 11 (2012-2015)

Test Points: 4 (1 try)

 

BRAD TAKAIRANGI

(Parramatta Eels)

Born: 14, 1989

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Position: Centre/Second Row

Height: 194cm

Weight: 108kg

Junior Club: Cronulla, Caringbah

Other NRL Clubs: Sydney Roosters (2010-2012), Gold Coast Titans (2013-2014)

Kiwi Number: Yet to make debut for NZ

Kiwi Test Debut: Yet to make debut for NZ

Tests: 5 for Cook Islands (2009-2013)

Test Points: 10 (1 try, 3 goals)

 

JASON TAUMALOLO

(North Queensland Cowboys)

Born: May 30, 1993

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Position: Second Row

Height: 191cm

Weight: 112kg

Junior Clubs: Otahuhu Leopards (Auckland), Papakura Sea Eagles (Auckland), Kirwan Bears (Townsville), Townsville Brothers (Townsville)

Other NRL Clubs: Nil

Kiwi Number: 786

Kiwi Test Debut: v Australia, Brisbane, 2014

Tests: 4 for New Zealand (2014), 3 for Mate Ma’a Tonga (2013)

Test Points: 0 for New Zealand, 4 for Mate Ma’a Tonga (1 try)

 

MARTIN TAUPAU

(Wests Tigers)

Born: February 3, 1990

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Position: Prop

Height: 190cm

Weight: 112kg

Junior Clubs: Padstow Panthers, Greenacre Tigers (New South Wales)

Other NRL Clubs: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (2010-2013)

Kiwi Number: 785

Kiwi Test Debut: v Australia, Sydney, 2014

Tests: 9 Tests for Kiwis (2014-2015), 1 Test for Toa Samoa (2013)

Test Points: 0

 

DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK

(Penrith Panthers)

Born: August 17, 1995

Birthplace: Hamilton, NZ

Position: Wing

Height: 186cm

Weight: 97kg

Junior Clubs: College Old Boys, St Clair Cornets

Other NRL Clubs: Nil

Kiwi Number: Yet to make debut for NZ

Kiwi Test Debut: Yet to make debut for NZ

Tests: 0

Test Points: 0