New Zealand Confirm Zelezniak As New Skipper

New Zealand Confirm Zelezniak As New Skipper

New Zealand have confirmed Penrith Panthers star Dallin Watene-Zelezniak as their captain for the autumn. Watene-Zelezniak follows in the footsteps of his great grandfather Steve Watene, who became the first Maori to captain New Zealand in 1936.

The 23-year-old has won seven caps for the Kiwis and he will lead the national side out for their triple-header against Australia.

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Watene-Zelezniak said: “I was really humbled when Madge (Michael Maguire) offered me the chance to captain my country.

“It’s a huge honour, especially following in my great grandfather’s steps.”

Head coach Michael Maguire believes the Penrith man is the perfect candidate for the role as they also gear up for a three-match Test series against England in November.

Maguire said: “Dallin lives the values we’re looking for and embodies the new direction we’re heading in with the Kiwis.”