England v New Zealand third Test preview

Pride and the chance of a clean sweep are on the line in the third and final Test match between England and New Zealand at Elland Road on Sunday.

England wrapped up the series in game two with a 20-14 come-from-behind win that left the Kiwis ruing what could have been after leading midway through the second half for the second consecutive week.

New Zealand's final quarter slip-ups were highlighted against Australia late in their big win in Auckland last month and have been their downfall again away from home with errors and ill-discipline costing them late.

Kiwis coach Michael Maguire will expect nothing less than a victory to ensure the side returns home with something to salvage from the tour.

Maguire has made several changes to the side that was defeated in the second Test with Marty Taupau dropped from the 20-man squad and James Fisher-Harris named on an extended bench.

Warriors prop Isaiah Papali'i will make his Test debut in Taupau's spot, while Jamayne Isaako replaces Jordan Rapana after the Kiwis winger returned to Australia earlier in the week a shoulder injury.

England will be without George Burgess, who was found guilty of an eye gouge on Dallin Watene-Zelezniak during the second Test.

Wayne Bennett has lost three more players in addition to Burgess with Sam Tomkins (broken hand), Daryl Clark (ribs) and Sean O'Loughlin (calf) all ruled out of the final clash. Stefan Ratchford, Joe Greenwood and Richie Myler will come into the side. 

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for England is number 1 Jonny Lomax
    Fullback for New Zealand is number 1 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Winger for England is number 2 Thomas Makinson
    Winger for New Zealand is number 2 Ken Maumalo
  • Centre for England is number 3 Jake Connor
    Centre for New Zealand is number 3 Esan Marsters
  • Centre for England is number 4 Oliver Gildart
    Centre for New Zealand is number 4 Joseph Manu
  • Winger for England is number 5 Jermaine McGillvary
    Winger for New Zealand is number 5 Jamayne Isaako
  • Five-Eighth for England is number 6 George Williams
    Five-Eighth for New Zealand is number 6 Shaun Johnson
  • Halfback for England is number 7 Richie Myler
    Halfback for New Zealand is number 7 Kodi Nikorima

Forwards

  • Prop for England is number 15 Thomas Burgess
    Prop for New Zealand is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for England is number 9 Josh Hodgson
    Hooker for New Zealand is number 9 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for England is number 10 James Graham
    Prop for New Zealand is number 10 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • 2nd Row for England is number 11 John Bateman
    2nd Row for New Zealand is number 11 Kevin Proctor
  • 2nd Row for England is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
    2nd Row for New Zealand is number 12 Isaac Liu
  • Lock for England is number 13 Luke Thompson
    Lock for New Zealand is number 13 Adam Blair

Interchange

  • Interchange for England is number 8 Chris Hill
    Interchange for New Zealand is number 14 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Interchange for England is number 14 Adam Milner
    Interchange for New Zealand is number 15 Leeson Ah Mau
  • Interchange for England is number 16 Joe Greenwood
    Interchange for New Zealand is number 16 Isaiah Papali'i
  • Interchange for England is number 17 Stefan Ratchford
    Interchange for New Zealand is number 17 Joseph Tapine

Late Mail

England have confirmed no late changes at their final training session on Saturday. New Zealand had concerns over a few of their key players but Esan Marsters (hamstring) and captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (knee) have proved their fitness. 

Key match-up

James Graham v Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Neither player has left anything in the tank throughout the series and tensions boiled over in the second Test with Graham and Jesse Bromwich coming together, and Waerea-Hargreaves on a mission to deliver from the front. Graham and Waerea-Hargreaves are averaging 131 and 133 metres respectively but Graham has his nose in front with a more control around his discipline.

For England to win

Stick to what has worked. They've got a simple game plan of holding the ball and upping the tempo at the pivotal stages, helped by the fact they're playing until the final whistle. After success in both opening games, it's unlikely we'll see any changes now. England may not have been at their sharp best, but what they're lacking in execution they're making up for in effort.

For the Kiwis to win

Their final 20 minutes will be key for the third week in a row. One minute they look brilliant, the next they're struggling to hold their composure. Physically the Kiwis have been all over England, and should have scored more points last week, but their polish at the end is letting them down. If they can fix that up, they should finish the tour with success.

England Stat Attack

Typical for a Bennett-coached side, England are doing the basics right and completed at a high 82% in the second Test compared to the Kiwis' 69%. Considering they had a further 10 sets in the victory, it shows they're winning on the back of completing fundamentals of the game.

Kiwis Stat Attack

In the final 20 minutes of the second Test New Zealand came up with four errors and conceded a penalty, in comparison to England's only error from Tommy Makinson in a try-scoring opportunity. The Kiwis were averaging almost double England's metres per set in the opening half of the game and finished eight metres on average in front of their opponents.

And another thing

A British side has not clean swept New Zealand 3-0 in a Test series since 2007.