Broncos' Gerard Beale the bolter for Kiwis
A cousin of All Blacks legend Zinzan Brooke, who played for the Junior Kangaroos only last year, is the bolter in the Kiwis squad to be named tonight and almost unseated veteran fullback Lance Hohaia from the side to face Australia.
Australian-born Brisbane utility Gerard Beale, who continued his dashing form for the Broncos with a two-try performance in Friday's 20-12 defeat of the Bulldogs, will be the Kiwis' standby player for the Anzac test after switching allegiance to New Zealand.
Selectors formally name the side tonight but it is understood Beale came close to edging out Hohaia from the starting fullback role for the test.
Kiwi selectors are conscious of finding a long-term successor for Hohaia, who has signed to play for St Helens in England from next season and selection convener Howie Tamati talked last week of a succession plan.
It's thought Beale may be named in tonight's squad of 18 or 19 players, but won't figure in the side unless there are injuries this weekend but he is seen as a long-term prospect for the Kiwis and a substantial gain from Australia.
Beale, 20, played for Australia against New Zealand in last year's junior international series after breaking his arm on debut for Brisbane last May. He bulked up in the off-season and has been a regular for the Broncos in the injury-absence of another Kiwi-qualified fullback, Josh Hoffman.
Other team news involves a call-up for Melbourne's Matt Duffie, a recall for Warrior Sam Rapira and the likely withdrawal due to a wrist injury of former skipper Roy Asotasi, who was expected to figure in the frontrow.
We Lose Kyle Stanley but gain Gerard Beale, Looks like Duffie will be making his debut
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