Watene-Zelezniak to captain Kiwis against Australia

DWZ to captain Kiwis against Australia

Penrith Panthers fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is a shock selection as captain of the New Zealand team that will take on Australia in Auckland on Saturday.

Despite the presence of more senior players including Shaun Johnson, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Jesse Bromwich in the Kiwis team, Watene-Zelezniak will lead the team out for the first time.

The New Zealand side announced on Tuesday also includes two debutants - premiership-winning Roosters centre Joseph Manu and Storm hooker Brandon Smith.

"It's a massive honour. I was pretty shocked and speechless when I was told," Watene-Zelezniak told penrithpanthers.com.au.

"It's surreal for me but I think it's bigger for my family and the history that we have with the Kiwis."

Kiwis team: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (c), 2. Ken Maumalo, 3. Esan Marsters, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Shaun Johnson, 7. Kodi Nikorima, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Brandon Smith, 10. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Isaac Liu, 13. James Fisher-Harris
Interchange: 14. Kenny Bromwich, 15. Leeson Ah Mau, 16. Martin Taupau, 17. Adam Blair, 18 Peta Hiku, 19. Jahrome Hughes