Everything you need to know – New Zealand v Lebanon
New Zealand head into this World Cup with the strongest squad they have had in years. The Kiwis will be looking to claim their first World Cup success since 2008 this autumn.
Michael Maguire’s have one of the strongest spines in the tournament, featuring the likes of NRL superstars Joey Manu, Dylan Brown, Jahrome Hughes and Brandon Smith.
Lebanon have two superstar half-backs of their own though in the shape of Adam Doueihi and Mitchell Moses, with the latter playing in the NRL Grand Final for Parramatta.
The Cedars will be coached by Argentina rugby union coach Michael Cheika at this World Cup. Cheika was born in Australia to Lebanese parents. They will be hoping to make it out of the groups.
Here’s everything you need to know about the match…
- New Zealand v Lebanon
- Date: Sunday, October 16
- Kick-off time: 7:30pm
- Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington
- Group C
New Zealand v Lebanon team news
New Zealand 19-man squad: 1 Joey Manu, 2 Ronaldo Mulitalo, 3 Marata Niukore, 4 Peta Hiku, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Dylan Brown, 7 Jahrome Hughes, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Brandon Smith, 10 James Fisher-Harris, 11 Isaiah Papali’i, 12 Kenny Bromwich, 13 Joe Tapine, 14 Kieran Foran, 15 Moses Leota, 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 17 Briton Nikora, 19 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 21 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
Lebanon 19-man squad: 1 Jacob Kiraz, 2 Josh Mansour, 4 Brad Morkos, 5 Abbas Miski, 6 Adam Doueihi, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Kayne Kalache, 9 Michael Tannous, 10 Hanna El Nachar, 11 Elie El Zakhem, 12 Charbel Tasipale, 13 James Roumanos, 14 Anthony Layoun, 15, Andrew Kazzi, 16 Reece Robinson, 17 Jalal Bazzaz, 19 Khalil Rahme, 20 Jaxson Rahme, 21 Josh Maree.
What the two camps are saying
New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich said: “Anything but the final is a bit of a failure. I’m really excited by what the squad can do. It’s been a long time since New Zealand had a squad like this. For me, it’s not just the one-to-17, it’s the depth of the whole squad.”
Lebanon coach Michael Cheika, who has welcomed former London Broncos boss Tony Rea onto his backroom staff, said: “We’ve a really good base of knowledge from some coaches that have been involved at the top end of the game.”
How can I watch the game on TV?
BBC Red Button TV, 7:05pm | BBC iPlayer
Every game across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cup tournaments is being broadcast by the BBC.
The match will also be available to view on the BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport mobile app.
Odds and predictions
New Zealand are second favourites behind reigning champions Australia to win the World Cup according to Planet Sport Bet, who have them priced at 10/3 to lift the trophy.
As a result, the Kiwis are understandably massive favourites heading into their opening World Cup match against Lebanon at 1/200.
If you fancy an outside bet, Lebanon are priced at 20/1 to cause an upset in Warrington.
I think New Zealand will win the tournament this time around. The Kiwis thumped Leeds 74-0 last weekend, so they head into the World Cup in strong form. I reckon they’ll win by at least 30 against Lebanon.