New Zealand head coach Michael Maguire has named seven uncapped players in his 19-man squad for the Test against England in Denver next Saturday.
The Kiwis will travel to Colorado relatively light on experience after the former Wigan Warriors and South Sydney Rabbitohs boss was forced to hand inaugural selections to over a third of his travelling party.
Among the new names are a trio of former Samoa internationals - Leeson Ah Mau, Herman Ese'ese and Ken Maumalo – and a first call-up for former Cook Islands centre Esan Marsters.
Newcastle Knights hooker Slade Griffin, Brisbane Broncos winger Jamayne Isaako and Raymond Faitala-Mariner could also win a first cap.
"I'm excited for each of them and for everyone included for the first major rugby league international ever played in the United States," said Maguire.
"We have a group of players here who have all been in great form so far this season and totally deserve this chance."
Veteran New Zealand Warriors trio Shaun Johnson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Tohu Harris were unavailable for selection and former captain Simon Mannering retired from the national side earlier this month.
However, there is a recall for hooker and 2008 World Cup winner Issac Luke after he considered a switch to Ireland last year.
England, coached by Wayne Bennett, are at near full-strength for the historic game at Denver's Mile High Stadium, which will break new ground for international rugby league when played on June 23.
New Zealand squad: Leeson Ah Mau, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Herman Ese'ese, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, James Fisher-Harris, Slade Griffin, Peta Hiku, Jamayne Isaako, Jordan Kahu, Isaac Liu, Issac Luke, Te Maire Martin, Esan Marsters, Ken Maumalo, Kodi Nikorima, Joseph Tapine, Martin Taupau, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
17 de febrero 2019
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