The Anzac Test, or Trans-Tasman Test, is an annual rugby league test match between Australian and New Zealand to honour the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. Although the Test has gone by other names due to sponsorships (the Bundaberg Rum Test from 2004-2008 and the VB Test in 2009), it has predominantly been known as the Anzac Test since its inception in 1997.
First introduced during the Super League days, the Anzac Test has become an annual clash on the NRL calender, held on or close to Anzac Day. It pits the best players from Australia against the best players from New Zealand in a one off match to commemorate those who have served their respective countries.
The first game was played in front almost 25,000 people at the Sydney Football Stadium, now known as Allianz Stadium. Since then, it has been moved to various venues across Australia and New Zealand to allow rugby league fans in different areas to sample Test footy. It has been played at Sydney's Stadium Australia (ANZ Stadium), Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium (aka Lang Park), McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle and Auckland's Eden Park and North Harbour Park.
The Aussies have dominated this Test since day one, winning 15 of the 17 contests. The biggest margin was in 2000 when the Kangaroos smashed the Kiwis 52-0.
Friday, May 5, 8:00pm (AEST) @ GIO Stadium, Canberra
Australia’s selection policy has been the subject of much debate over the past week with the major issue coming with Trent Merrin’s inclusion as a starting forward. Merrin has struggled to find form this season (like many of his Panther teammates) but because he played in the 2016 Four Nations Final, Meninga remained loyal. The Kiwis have one of their best teams on paper and the likes of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Johnson and David Fusitua are likely to benefit from the NZ forwards should they dominate the Kangaroos pack.
AUSTRALIA: 1. Boyd 2. Ferguson 3. Dugan 4. Chambers 5. Holmes 6. Thurston 7. Cronk 8. Fifita 9. Smith © 10. Klemmer 11. Cordner 12. Gillett 13. Merrin 14. Morgan 15. Jake Trbojevic 16. Frizell 17. Thaiday 18. McLean 19. Maloney 20. O’Neill.
NEW ZEALAND: 1. Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Watene-Zelazniak 3. Kahu 4. Whare 5. Rapana 6. Foran 7. Johnson 8. Jesse Bromwich © 9. Luke 10. Packer 11. Proctor 12. Mannering 13. Taumololo 14. Blair15. Taupau 16. Kenny Bromwich 17. Nikorima 18. Taylor 19. Fusitua.