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Kiwis keep winning formula for England series opener

New Zealand coach Michael Maguire has named the same 17-man side that defeated Australia for Saturday's opening Test against England at KCOM Stadium in Hull.

Fresh off their first victory over the Kangaroos in three years, the Kiwis will be out to make amends against the Wayne Bennett-coached England side following a 36-18 defeat in the Denver Test in May.

The intriguing international series is also in line with club news surrounding Maguire and Bennett, after their coaching futures in the NRL became clearer on Thursday. reported Maguire has verbally agreed to a three-year deal at the Tigers from next season, paving the way for Penrith to announce Ivan Cleary's return in 2019.

Bennett's move to Souths in 2020 was confirmed by the Rabbitohs on Thursday with Anthony Seibold expected to replace the premiership-winning coach at Brisbane in 12 months' time.

Canberra's Joseph Tapine has been named on an extended interchange bench for the Kiwis in the only addition to the squad after the Raiders back-rower missed the final two games of the NRL season with a broken thumb.

JWH enjoying life under Maguire

The Kiwis arrived in the United Kingdom last week to prepare for the three-Test campaign in the northern hemisphere, which also includes a trip to Liverpool's Anfield before finishing in Leeds on November 11.

"Our focus since leaving New Zealand has been fixed on this first Test," Maguire said.

"We have a group of players here who are exceptionally passionate about playing for the jersey. I've seen that. There are great signs for where we're going but we need to make sure we do everything right this week."

The side has been based in Manchester before the series, training at the world-class high performance facility of Super League champions Wigan and an elite academy owned by English Premier League's Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Bennett has included NRL regulars James Graham, Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead and the Burgess twins Tom and George in a 19-man squad that will be finalised on Friday.

Maguire and Bennett are expected to front the English media on Friday evening (AEDT) following the side's final training sessions.

Kiwis: 1 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2 Ken Maumalo 3 Esan Marsters 4 Joseph Manu 5 Jordan Rapana 6 Shaun Johnson 7 Kodi Nikorima 8 Jesse Bromwich 9 Brandon Smith 10 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 11 Kevin Proctor 12 Isaac Liu 13 James Fisher-Harris 14 Kenny Bromwich 15 Leeson Ah Mau 16 Martin Taupau 17 Adam Blair 18 Jahrome Hughes 19 Joseph Tapine

England squad (in alphabetical order): John Bateman, George Burgess, Tom Burgess, Daryl Clark, Jake Connor, Oliver Gildart, James Graham, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Jermaine McGillvary, Richie Myler, Sean O'Loughlin, Mark Percival, Luke Thompson, Sam Tomkins, Elliott Whitehead, George Williams.

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St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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