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- Rugby League World Cup
- Group B
- 27th Oct 2013
- KO 18:00
- Att: 13,965
Rugby League World Cup: Sonny Bill Williams starts for New Zealand against Samoa
- Always prepared
- England boss hopeful over duo
- McNamara heading down under
- Hardaker eyes full-back berth
- England confirm Italy date
- Reed shoulders World Cup blow
- Sheens: Kiwis are favourites
- Parish takes on Samoa WC role
- Kiwis want Sonny Bill Williams
- Wales v Italy: Teams
- PNG v France: Teams
- Scotland v Tonga: Teams
- England v Australia: Teams
- USA v Cook Islands: Teams
- Australia v Fiji: Teams
- Scotland v Italy: Teams
- Tonga v Cook Islands: Teams
- Australia v Fiji: Teams
- Knights power past Samoa
- Papa New Guinea sting Scotland
- New Zealand warm up in style
- Italy stun England in warm-up
- Kangaroos win World Cup opener
- Scots chop down Tomahawks
- Tonga knock out Cook Islands
- Samoa all-but end PNG hopes
- Scots share spoils with Italy
- McNamara anticipates tough World Cup
- Sinfield targeting improvement
- Kearney expects spectacular World Cup
- Brough targets World Cup quarter-finals
- Rugby League World Cup hailed 'greatest'
- McNamara accepts Burgess ban
- Australia labelled favourites
- World Cup history
- NZ 42 Samoa 24
- USA 24 Wales 16
- Australia v Ireland
- England 42 Ireland 0
- France 9 PNG 8
- World Cup warm-ups
Sonny Bill Williams will start for New Zealand when they open their World Cup defence with a tough clash against Samoa at Warrington on Sunday.
The 28-year-old has been handed a spot in the Kiwis' second row as he looks to become the first player to win a World Cup in the 13 and 15-man codes.
Sam Moa and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck are set for their New Zealand debuts and their inclusion means five of the NRL Grand Final-winning Sydney Roosters side are in their squad.
Tuivasa-Sheck, the Dally M 'Winger of the Year' after a superb NRL season, is preferred to Jason Nightingale and will be partnered on the other flank by Manu Vatuvei.
Coach Stephen Kearney said: "Sonny brings a sense of confidence to people around him.
"He puts his hand up and he delivers. He has such talent, but he understands that his main role is defence and he's got to get down and get dirty sometimes.
"The Roosters boys have brought energy and momentum into camp and I thought it was important to capitalise on that.
"It's a matter of giving Roger an opportunity. There's a real depth of talent on the wings and I'm very mindful of making sure we're keeping everyone with their hands on the footy.
"Jason Nightingale had a game last week (a 50-0 victory over the Cook Islands) and played really well. But it's a great opportunity for Roger. He's going to have the rest of his Roosters boys in the group and that will certainly help him."
Wigan second row forward Harrison Hansen, Samoa's newly-appointed captain, will miss the game after failing recover from the leg injury he suffered in last Saturday's 52-16 defeat by England Knights.
Samoa, who failed to make it out of the group stage in 2008, will also be without centre Tim Lafai, who was given a one-match ban for punching in that match against the Knights.
New Zealand: Hoffman, Tuivasa-Sheck, Whare, Goodwin, Vatuvei, Foran, Johnson, Waerea-Hargreaves, Luke, Bromwich, Pritchard, Williams, Mannering (capt). Replacements: Taylor, Kasiano, Moa, Nu'uausala, Eastwood, Matulino
Samoa: Ah Mau, Faalogo, Godinet, Hansen, Leilua, Maitua, Manumaleaii, Masoe, Matagi, Milford, Sau'u, Soliola, Sue, Taufua, Vidot, A Winterstein, F Winterstein
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