Tonga are hoping to build on their stunning 2019 when they downed both Great Britain and Australia.
Saturday’s sensational slate of matches kicks off from Mt Smart Stadium with the pick of the card featuring New Zealand and Tonga.
Michael Maguire’s team rolls out four debutants including Dylan Brown, who will partner the incredibly classy Jahrome Hughes in the halves. Joey Manu is set to wear the No.1 jersey while the pack features the likess of Brandon Smith, Joe Tapine and Isaiah Papalii.
Kristian Woolf has plenty of talent at his disposal though though including a dominant pack that features Jason Taumalolo, Addin Fonua-Blake, Haumole Olakautau and Sitil Tupouniua, among others. The backline is headed by Kotoni Staggs, Will Penisini and Chrisitan Tuipulutu.
The line in this clash just looks too big if Tonga return with the same level of passion and high standard of play they had in 2019, the last year of international Rugby League.
Same Game Multi
Manu has six tries in 10 games when playing in a spine position.
Tupouniua has 19 tries in 38 games across the last two seasons, a tremendous tryscoring rate.
Tonga are a very real chance of winning this game. They have claimed the scalps of Great Britain and Australia in their last two Tests and there is a sound argument to be made that Tonga at least matches the Kiwis. They are big overs.