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Mannering gets Kiwi nod

Published: 1:08PM Tuesday October 10, 2006 Source: Newstalk ZB

Four debutants have been confirmed in the Kiwis' 17 for this weekend's opening Tri-Nations test against the Kangaroos.

The biggest surprise sees young Warrior Simon Mannering starting at loose forward.

Mannering is used in the centres by the Warriors.

Roosters centre Iosia Soliola, Manly centre Steve Matai and Storm forward Adam Blair are the other debutants.

Blair plays off the interchange bench, the others start, including a green centre pairing in Soliola and Matai.

Nigel Vagana and Stacey Jones are confirmed in the halves.

Meanwhile Bulldogs utility Reni Maitua will start at lock for Australia on Saturday.
Maitua will make his test debut at Mt Smart Stadium after some outstanding form in the Bulldogs' run to the second last week of the NRL finals series.
North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston has won the battle with Ben Hornby for the halfback job following the retirement of Newcastle's Andrew Johns from representative football.
Brisbane utility back Justin Hodges will partner St George Illawarra's Mark Gasnier in the centres with the Broncos' Karmichael Hunt retaining his spot at fullback.
Melbourne whiz-kid Greg Inglis has claimed a wing spot while his Storm teammate Cameron Smith replaces Newcastle's Danny Buderus, who is unavailable due to the impending birth of his first child, at hooker.
Clive Churchill medallist Shaun Berrigan has claimed the utility
role off the bench.  

Kiwis: 1.Brent Webb, 2.Tame Tupou, 3.Iosia Soliola, 4.Steve Matai, 5.Manu Vatuvei, 6.Nigel Vagana, 7.Stacey Jones, 8.Ruben Wiki, 9.Dene Halatau, 10.Roy Asotasi, 11.David Kidwell, 12.Tony Puletua, 13.Simon Mannering. Interchange: Jerome Ropati, Nathan Cayless, Adam Blair and Frank Pritchard.

Kangaroos: 1.Karmichael Hunt, 2.Matt King, 3.Mark Gasnier, 4.Justin Hodges, 5.Greg Inglis, 6.Darren Lockyer (capt), 7.Johnathan Thurston, 8.Willie Mason, 9.Cameron Smith, 10.Petero Civoniceva, 11.Luke O'Donnell, 12.Nathan Hindmarsh, 13.Reni Maitua. Interchange: Mark O'Meley, Shaun Berrigan, Andrew Ryan, Brent Kite.