Sonny Bill to start against Samoa
Sonny Bill Williams watches his new team train in Tokyo on September 1, 2012
Williams, 28, was named in the second row as he continues his bid to become the first player to win World Cups in both codes after helping the All Blacks to union glory in 2011, at the time playing as a centre.
The 28-year-old code-swapping Kiwi, who is also New Zealand's heavyweight boxing champion, was a late addition to the squad after initially announcing his unavailability.
He soon went back on his word, forcing coach Stephen Kearney to drop Tohu Harris to make way for Williams, one of the true global stars of the game.
But Kearney was in no doubt of Williams' worth on the paddock.
"Sonny brings a sense of confidence to people around him," said Kearney, whose final Test match as a player for the Kiwis in 2004 was alongside Williams making his debut.
"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."
Williams, in his first game for the Kiwis since the ANZAC Test of 2008, is one of five players in the squad from the NRL Grand Final-winning Sydney Roosters side.
Two of them -- Sam Moa and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck -- are set to make their Kiwi Test debuts. The other two are Frank-Paul Nu'uausala and prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
"The Roosters boys have brought energy and momentum into camp and I thought it was important to capitalise on that," Kearney said.
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, the New Zealand Warriors' all-time leading try-scorer.
"It's a matter of giving Roger an opportunity," said Kearney. "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."
The side will be captained by loose forward Simon Mannering, playing in his 31st Test.
New Zealand team (1-13)
Josh Hoffman; Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dean Whare, Bryson Goodwin, Manu Vatuvei; Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson; Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Issac Luke, Jesse Bromwich; Frank Pritchard, Sonny Bill Williams; Simon Mannering (capt)
Interchange: Elijah Taylor, Sam Kasiano, Sam Moa, Frank-Paul Nu'uausala, Greg Eastwood, Ben Matulino
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