Star winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak replaces suspended prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in the Kiwis squad for the World Cup quarter-final against Fiji Bati in Hull.
The return of Watene-Zelezniak is the only change from the team which beat Ireland last weekend and the 27-year-old fills the vacancy caused by Waerea-Hargreaves’ one-match suspension for a high tackle on Wolfhounds prop Dan Norman.
Apart from Waerea-Hargreaves, the other players to miss selection in the 19-man squad were prop Moses Leota, centre-second rower Marata Niukore, centre Sebastian Kris and hooker Jeremy Marshall-King.
For the second time in successive World Cups, the Kiwis and Fiji meet at the quarter-final stage of the tournament.
When the two nations met for the first time in 2017, the Bati caused a major shock by winning 4-2 in a tryless contest in Wellington.
Of the squad named today, Watene-Zelezniak, Jordan Rapana, Joseph Tapine, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Isaac Liu all played in the 2017 encounter.
Waerea-Hargreaves was also in the line-up that day while Kenny Bromwich and Peta Hiku weren’t selected.
The Kiwis go into their quarter-final after topping Pool C with victories over the Lebanon Cedars (34-12), Jamaica’s Reggae Warriors (68-6) and the Ireland Wolfhounds (48-10).
After losing 8-42 to the Kangaroos in their opening match, Fiji beat Italy’s Azzurri 60-4 and the Scotland Bravehearts 30-14 to finish runner-up in Pool B.
Meanwhile, England skipper Sam Tomkins is set to return to action to lead the host nation’s World Cup charge against Papua New Guinea in Wigan.
As England continue their quest to lift the trophy on home soil, coach Shaun Wane has announced five changes to the team which beat Greece 94-4 in their final Group A match.
Tomkins returns after being rested against the Titans, while centre Kallum Watkins has recovered from the injury he sustained against France and is back in Wane’s matchday squad.
There is no place for record try-scorer Ryan Hall, with 21-year-old sensation and the tournament’s leading try-scorer Dom Young preferred.
Herbie Farnworth, Michael McIlorum and Elliott Whitehead also return to the side but Canterbury Bulldogs prop Luke Thompson is a shock omission.
Tommy Makinson, who deputised for Tomkins at full-back against Greece, will return to the wing for the knockout stages, while Jack Welsby is in line to partner George Williams in the halves.
Papua New Guinea have had two fewer days to prepare than their opponents after beating Wales in their final group match on Monday night in Doncaster.
The Kumuls welcome back Watson Boas and Sylvester Namo to the pack after they were rested from the team that defeated Wales to ensure a place in the quarter-finals.
Prop McKenzie Yei is also back from suspension as the Kumuls look to advance to the last four for the first time in their history.