Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Sonny Bill Williams have been named in the starting side, while Sam Moa and Frank-Paul Nuuausala are a part of a six man bench for the clash with Ireland.
Fellow Rooster Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has been given a rest by the Kiwi coaching staff, joining his Skipper Simon Mannering and Frank Pritchard on the sidelines ahead of next weeks Quarter Finals clash with the winner of Pool C.
With the forwards, with Jesse Bromwich and Sam Moa not playing last week, it was an opportunity to give them a game. And were giving guys like Simon Mannering and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves a rest, Kearney said.
Kearney has given every player in his 24-man squad, barring Thomas Leuluai who still has a groin complaint, a run in the tournament. With pool play concluding this week, the pressure is mounting to choose his top side.
Obviously there are some big players such as Simon, Jared and Frank not playing this week, but I couldnt say for certain that this is the side that plays next week with those players Ive just mentioned included.
Right across the whole group, the pressure to perform is there because guys like Jason Nightingale, Kevin Locke and Krisnan Inu are waiting for an opportunity. That pressure is there, even more so, in the forwards. I think thats a real positive for us.
Team (1-13): Josh Hoffman, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dean Whare, Bryson Goodwin, Manu Vatuvei, Kieran Foran (c), Shaun Johnson, Ben Matulino, Isaac Luke, Jesse Bromwich, Alex Glenn, Sonny Bill Williams, Elijah Taylor
Bench (14-19): Sam Moa, Sam Kasiano, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Greg Eastwood, Jason Nightingale, Simon Mannering
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