Bromwich returns to Kiwis captaincy

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Jesse Bromwich has been restored to the New Zealand rugby league captaincy five years after it was taken off him and he will lead the Kiwis against Tonga in Auckland on Saturday.

The Melbourne Storm skipper is the most capped player in the Kiwis squad, playing 29 times since making his international debut in 2012.

He takes over as captain from Benji Marshall, who retired at the end of last season.

Bromwich surrendered the Kiwis captaincy when he was involved in a drugs scandal outside a Canberra nightclub following an Anzac Test in May 2017.

But the prop took full responsibility for his drunken actions and worked hard to earn back the respect of the New Zealand hierarchy and the Storm.

"It's a tribute to Jesse and the work he has done that has seen him earn respect as a true leader with Melbourne," Kiwis coach Michael Maguire said of the 33-year-old.

"He's again co-captain for the Storm this season which speaks volumes for the regard he's held in at such a great club."

New Zealand haven't played a Test since 2019 and Bromwich was excited to get back in front of home fans at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Warriors' last NRL home game before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold was late August 2019 while the last Test there was two months earlier, with New Zealand beating Tonga 34-14.

"It's obviously been a long time since the Kiwis team has been together, especially heading back home as well," Bromwich said.

"It's been a long time since a lot of the boys have been able to get back to New Zealand."

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