Matt Scott (Australia) v Jesse Bromwich (New Zealand)
wins this battle can make claims to be the world's best prop. It will
also most likely decide the Test. Queensland country boy Matt Scott is
as tough as teak, loves hard work and boasts form hotter than his
hometown Longreach's average temperature. But Melbourne star Jesse
Bromwich has stolen the spotlight ahead of the Test, earning plaudits
from even Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith for his scary combination of
size, speed and endurance. Sure to make an impact on Friday night -
especially when he collides with fellow man mountain Scott.
Greg Inglis (Australia) v Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand)
your No.1 fullback would usually sound alarm bells for a Test team -
not the Kangaroos. Strike weapon Greg Inglis will don the familiar No.1
jersey after the withdrawal of Billy Slater (shoulder), setting up a
mouth-watering showdown. Inglis has again revelled in the role at South
Sydney this year, averaging 137m and almost four tackle breaks a game.
Like Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens said: "He's a fair replacement." But
Tuivasa-Sheck's stats are even better, averaging a league high 235m
since claiming legend Anthony Minichiello's No.1 Roosters jersey. A
clash worth the price of admission.
Johnathan Thurston (Australia) v Kieran Foran (New Zealand)
Thurston may be one of 10 new faces in the Test team since Australia's
2014 Four Nations final loss but he is arguably the most important
addition. The two-time Golden Boot winner may be black and blue after
being heavily targeted by NRL rivals this year but he looks set to make
the Kiwis see red after returning to his scheming best. Meanwhile, the
stage is set for Kieran Foran to silence the knockers after a disastrous
season start with NRL club Manly and provide a perfect foil for his
livewire halves partner Shaun Johnson.