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Shaun Kenny-Dowall has again been named to start at centre for the New Zealand Kiwis this Saturday when they face Samoa at Whangarei's Toll Stadium.

An impressive showing from the Roosters fan-favourite helped guide the Kiwis to a famous victory over the Kangaroos last Saturday night.

Warriors prop Suaia Matagi is also poised to play his first test for the NZ Kiwis against his old team-mates, Toa Samoa.

Showing utmost respect for the Samoans, who went close to upsetting England in their Four Nations opener last Saturday, coach Stephen Kearney has stuck largely to the line-up that defeated Australia 30-12 in Brisbane.

Matagi (26), who represented the Pacific nation at last year's Rugby League World Cup, is the only rookie in the playing line-up this week, replacing Greg Eastwood on the bench, although second rower Bodene Thompson also takes a step closer to his first international outing, as 18th man.

Hooker Issac Luke returns in place of Thomas Leuluai, after serving a two-game suspension that comprised South Sydney Rabbitohs' NRL Grand Final victory and last week's encounter with Australia.

The only other change from victory over the Kangaroos comes on the wing, where Manu Vatuvei replaces Gerard Beale.

Whangarei-bred prop Adam Blair will also wear the black jersey for the 29th time in his hometown.


1-Peta Hiku

2-Jason Nightingale

3-Dean Whare

4-Shaun Kenny-Dowall

5-Manu Vatuvei

6-Kieran Foran

7-Shaun Johnson

8-Jesse Bromwich

9-Issac Luke

10-Adam Blair

11-Simon Mannering (captain)

12-Kevin Proctor

13-Jason Taumalolo


14-Lewis Brown

15-Suaia Matagi

16-Martin Taupau

17-Tohu Harris

18-Bodene Thompson

Photo courtesy of Grant Trouville,