Kiwis head coach Michael Maguire has confirmed 20-year-old back rower Isaiah Papali’i will debut for the Kiwis in the third Rugby League Test against England in Leeds.
After initially indicating he would name his final line-up an hour and a half before kick-off, Maguire has revealed Papali’i will become Kiwi No 817 coming off the interchange in the New Zealanders’ final outing of the year.
Named the Warriors’ 2018 NRL Rookie of the Year, Papali’i captained the Junior Kiwis against the Junior Kangaroos in Auckland last month.
He comes onto a bench which also includes utility forward Kenny Bromwich, front rower Leeson Ah Mau and second rower Joseph Tapine.
Tapine returns to the line-up after being used in the first Test in Hull while Marty Taupau and James Fisher-Harris make way.
The other change to the line-up sees Jamayne Isaako re-introduced on the right wing to replace the experienced Jordan Rapana, who has returned to Australia after being ruled out of the tour with a shoulder injury.
Isaako, the Dally M NRL Rookie of the Year, will make his second Test appearance after his debut against England in Denver.
Maguire has included three players in his extended squad with Jahrome Hughes and Fisher-Harris joined by Warriors utility back Gerard Beale, whose last Test was in the Kiwis’ opening match of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup against Toa Samoa.
The 32-year-old Adam Blair will edge closer to becoming just the eighth player in history to play 50 or more Tests when he makes his 48th appearance on Monday morning.
The build-up to the Test will centre on a Remembrance Day commemoration marking the centenary of the end of the First World War.
England won the first two Tests.
1 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK (c)
2 KEN MAUMALO
3 ESAN MARSTERS
4 JOSEPH MANU
5 JAMAYNE ISAAKO
6 SHAUN JOHNSON
7 KODI NIKORIMA
8 JESSE BROMWICH
9 BRANDON SMITH
10 JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES
11 KEVIN PROCTOR
12 ISAAC LIU
13 ADAM BLAIR
14 KENNY BROMWICH
15 LEESON AH MAU
16 ISAIAH PAPALI’I
17 JOSEPH TAPINE
18 JAHROME HUGHES
19 JAMES FISHER-HARRIS
20 GERARD BEALE