Four Nations: New Zealand hand debut to Elijah Taylor against Wales

Wales v New Zealand

Venue:
Wembley Stadium, London
Date:
Saturday 5 November
Kick-off:
1330 GMT
Coverage:
Highlights on BBC One, live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online; live text commentary and score updates on the BBC Sport website
England 42-4 Wales

New Zealand will give a debut to second-row forward Elijah Taylor against Wales in Saturday's Four Nations clash at Wembley.

Coach Stephen Kearney has made three changes to the side which started the 26-12 loss to Australia last week.

Melbourne Storm forward Adam Blair returns from suspension, Wigan hooker Thomas Leuluai starts and there is a recall for Nathan Fien.

Hooker Issac Luke, wing Kalifa Faifai Loa and Simon Mannering make way.

Australia 26-12 New Zealand

Luke was this week given a warning for the "cannonball" tackle on Australia prop David Shillington as the defending champions lost their opener.

Against Wales, Alex Glenn - who plays in the second row for Brisbane - is switched to centre, with Gerard Beale moving onto the wing.

Wales began their Four Nations campaign with a 42-4 loss against England in Leigh.

"As we do every Test we play, we have selected the side that we think best suits our needs for this match against Wales," Kearney said.

"After being out for so long, it's great to have Adam back. He has been working hard to get himself ready for this.

"It's a chance to give Simon a break as well. He has had a huge year, not only playing every game so far but also playing 80 minutes almost every time as well."

Blair, who has completed a five-match ban imposed for his part in a brawl in the Melbourne-Manly match in August, will win his 23rd cap, while Leuluai takes his tally to 29.

The 21-year-old Taylor's selection caps a remarkable season in which he made his NRL debut.

He is set to become the sixth member of the 23-strong touring party to win his first cap in the last month.

Kevin Locke, Russell Packer, Faifai Loa, Beale and Glenn all made their debuts against the Kangaroos in Newcastle on 16 October.

New Zealand: K Locke (NZ Warriors); G Beale (Brisbane), L Brown (NZ Warriors), A Glenn (Brisbane), J Nightingale (St George Illawarra); B Marshall (Wests Tigers, capt), K Foran (Manly); S McKendry (Penrith), T Leuluai (Wigan), B Matulino (NZ Warriors), S Manu (Melbourne), A Blair (Melbourne), J Smith (Cronulla).

Interchange: N Fien (St George Illawarra), J Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), F Moimoi (Parramatta), E Taylor (NZ Warriors).

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