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Kiwis make two changes to face Kangaroos

NZN 3/11/2016 Ian McCullough

New Zealand will be without experienced duo Jason Nightingale and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for Saturday's (Sunday 7am AEDT, 9am NZT) clash against Australia.

St George Ilawarra winger Nightingale (ankle) and Sydney Roosters prop Waerea-Hargreaves (knee) have failed to shake off their respective injuries, picked up in the bruising 17-16 win over England at Huddersfield last week.

Cronulla's Gerard Beale will replace Nightingale and Brisbane's Adam Blair will move into the starting front-row from the bench.

Canterbury forward Greg Eastwood has been promoted to the 17-man squad.

"It's tough losing players of Nighty's and Jared's talent and experience," said coach David Kidwell.

"We are fortunate to have quality reinforcements who understand what international football is all about."

"Both Bealy and Beasty [Eastwood] have been pushing hard for spots all tour, as well as the young guys in the team. I have complete confidence in all the players in our squad."

Joint Dally M Medal winner Jason Taumalolo said the win over England was one of the toughest he's ever been involved in and likened it to North Queensland's epic NRL semi-finals win over Brisbane in September.

"I honestly never thought I would be a part of a game like that," Taumalolo, who played a lung-busting 75 minutes told the NZ Herald.

"The closest to that was against the Broncos in the finals. That game reminded me of that.

"At certain points we were down, we were going try-for-try and Shaun [Johnson] got us over the line with the field goal."

Taumalolo also warned Australia not to take anything from the recent 26-6 win over Kidwell's side in Perth.

"The boys have improved a lot from the Perth game," said Taumalolo.

"We only had a week to get ourselves together and at the time I didn't think the boys were comfortable with each other.

"Now that we have had a few weeks together I'm confident the boys will play a lot better than we did in the last game."

Team: Jordan Kahu, Gerard Beale, Solomone Kata, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jordan Rapana, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jesse Bromwich (capt), Issac Luke, Adam Blair, Kevin Proctor, Tohu Harris, Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: Lewis Brown, Martin Taupau, Manu Ma'u, Greg Eastwood.

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