TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA // Terry Campese, nephew of the rugby union great David Campese, will replace the Australia captain Darren Lockyer at five-eighth for the Rugby League World Cup pool match against Papua New Guinea this weekend. Campese, who was struggling to earn a new club contract at the Canberra Raiders before reviving his career with a strong back half of the National Rugby League season, was one of four new caps selected today for the Kangaroos. With Australia already guaranteed a semi-final place after big wins over England and New Zealand, coach Ricky Stewart decided to rotate his squad for Sunday's match against the winless Kumuls.
Campese, whose uncle played 101 rugby union Tests and scored 64 tries for Australia, and was voted player of the 1991 World Cup, will line up at five-eight, with the Manly winger David Williams and backrower Anthony Watmough and Brisbane winger Darius Boyd also making their debuts. Hooker Cameron Smith will play his third straight match and fill in for Lockyer as captain, with the North Queensland Cowboys playmaker Johnathan Thurston returning at halfback in front of his home crowd after missing the 52-4 win over England last weekend because of an injured shoulder.
Papua New Guinea coach Adrian Lam named a 20-man squad containing four uncapped players and will trim that to 17 ahead of the match. New Zealand made five changes for Saturday's match against England in Newcastle - which is basically a rehearsal of the subsequent play-off match for both teams. Prop Evarn Tuimavave will replace captain Nathan Cayless, who will be rested on Saturday following the Kiwis' 48-6 win over PNG on the Gold Coast last weekend.
The Melbourne Storm backrower Jeremy Smith will captain the Kiwis, with David Fa'alogo joining him in the starting pack. Steve Matai will return from suspension to take his place in the centres. "We showed some improvement against Papua New Guinea, especially with our defence, but this match against England is critical to us as we strive to show further improvements in all areas of our performance," the Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney said.
"We're not thinking about what happened to England against Australia. All that counts for us is how we prepare and how we play in this match against England. We have to get it right." New Zealand have one win and one defeat to their name after their opening 30-6 loss to Australia. England struggled against PNG 32-22 in Townsville in their opening match before being trounced by Australia last weekend.
The England forward Kevin Sinfield said the players wanted to make amends for the humiliating loss to Australia. "There is a lot of hunger and determination to go out and perform," Sinfield said. "We'll get better and better as the tournament goes on. Hopefully we can fix some more things up for this weekend and put in a great performance and look to build on that." Gareth Ellis was confident England would rebound quickly from the heavy loss. "We're pretty disappointed," he said. "We went into the game quite confident and in the first half I felt we were dominating in certain areas. They were clinical and got the points on the board. Then obviously in the second half we came out and went a little bit soft. "New Zealand are going to be tough but we've got to pick ourselves up. We can't dwell on this for too long."
New Zealand: Lance Hohaia, Jason Nightingale, Steve Matai, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, Benji Marshall, Thomas Leuluai, Adam Blair, Nathan Fien, Evarn Tuimavave, Simon Mannering, David Fa'alogo, Jeremy Smith (captain). Interchange: Issac Luke, Greg Eastwood, Bronson Harrison, David Kidwell. England: Rob Burrow, Mark Calderwood, Gareth Ellis, Martin Gleeson, Mickey Higham, Gareth Hock, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jamie Langley, Danny McGuire, Adrian Morley, Jamie Peacock (captain), Leon Pryce, Rob Purdham, Keith Senior, Kevin Sinfield, Lee Smith, Paul Sykes, Paul Wellens, Ben Westwood
Australia: Karmichael Hunt, Darius Boyd, Brent Tate, Joel Monaghan, David Williams, Terry Campese, Johnathan Thurston, Brent Kite, Cameron Smith (captain), Josh Perry, Anthony Watmough, Anthony Tupou, Craig Fitzgibbon. Interchange: Scott Prince, Steve Price, Paul Gallen, Israel Folau. Papua New Guinea: John Wilshere (captain), David Moore, Tu'u Maori, Anton Kui, George Kepa, Stanley Gene, Keith Peters, Jason Chan, Paul Aiton, Trevor Exton, Neville Costigan, James Nightingale, Rod Griffin. Interchange: Kevin Prior, Nicko Slain, Jessie Joe Parker, Charlie Wabo, Jay Aston, Menzie Yere, George Monie (3 to be omitted).