Martin retains Kiwi spot

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys playmaker Te Maire Martin has retained his position in the New Zealand Kiwis side for the historic Test against England at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday.

Martin holds his place in the Kiwis side on the back of a solid World Cup showing at the end of last year.

The Cowboys playmaker has registered three caps for New Zealand after debuting in the 2016 Four Nations tournament.

Martin has been a solid form since returning to the Cowboys starting line-up to partner Johnathan Thurston in the halves in Round 12.

The 22-year-old produced one of his best performances of the season against the Warriors in Round 15, highlighted by his second-half intercept, which finished with a mesmerising floating pass to send Kyle Feldt over in the right corner.

Seven players are in line to make their Test debuts for the Kiwis, with new coach Michael Maguire naming a new-look 19-man squad.

In what will be his first Test as head coach Maguire has called up wingers Ken Maumalo (Warriors) and Jamayne Isaako (Broncos), centre Esan Marsters (Tigers), front rowers Leeson Ah Mau (Dragons) and Herman Ese'ese (Knights), hooker Slade Griffin (Knights) and second rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Bulldogs).

"I'm excited for each of them and for everyone included for the first major rugby league international ever played in the United States," said Maguire.

"We have a group of players here who have all been in great form so far this season and totally deserve this chance.

"What has really struck home is just how passionate the players have been when talking to them about playing for the Kiwis and about this Test. They're busting to be involved.

"It's also hugely exciting on a personal level to not only be involved in coaching again but to have the privilege of doing so with New Zealand."

Maguire resumes his coaching career after winning grand finals with South Sydney and Wigan as well as guiding Wigan to Challenge Cup success.

As well as the seven potential debutants, Maguire will have a core of experience in hooker Issac Luke (Warriors), front rowers Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters) and Martin Taupau (Sea Eagles) plus centre Peta Hiku (Warriors).

"This is our first opportunity to create an expectation towards taking the Kiwi jersey back to the top of international rugby league," said Maguire.

Of the newcomers, the most experienced is Ah Mau (27), who started his 168-game NRL career with the Warriors in 2009. He has tasted international football with 16 Tests for Toa Samoa including last year's Rugby League World Cup. Maumalo, Ese'ese and Faitala-Mariner have also played at Test level for Samoa while Marsters has represented Cook Islands.

The match kicks off on Sunday at 6am (AEST).

New Zealand: Leeson Ah Mau, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Herma Ese'ese, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, James Fisher-Harris, Slade Griffin, Peta Hiku, Jamayne Isaako, Jordan Kahu, Isaac Liu, Issac Luke, Te Maire Martin, Esan Marsters, Ken Maumalo, Kodi Nikorima, Joseph Tapine, Martin Taupau, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

England: John Bateman, Sam Burgess, Tom Burgess, Jake Connor, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Chris Hill, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Jermaine McGillvary, Sean O'Loughlin, Mark Percival, Stefan Ratchford, James Roby, Scott Taylor, Luke Thompson, Gareth Widdop, George Williams, Elliott Whitehead