Kay will be hoping to add to his current tally of 58 caps after he was named alongside clubmate Tom Croft in a 32-man squad for the two-Test tour.
“It’s nice to get back on a tour,” says Kay, who was a World Cup winner in 2003 and a finalist in 2007.
“It’s exciting to be part of the new set up. Although Johnno isn’t going, I’m sure he’ll be in contact with the guys all the time. It’s an important start for him and for England as a whole.”
Kay, who played his part in a stunning 15-13 win over the All Blacks in Wellington prior to the 2003World Cup triumph, believes the current squad will do well in New Zealand, although he admits it is a tough place to tour.
“There’s a lot of exciting talent coming through so it will be nice to be a part of that and to see what the likes of Danny Cipriani, James Haskell and Tom Croft can do in New Zealand.
“It’s a very difficult place to go. It’s their version of football and you’re in the spotlight all the time. People will stop you in the street and tell you what they think is going to happen to you at the weekend. It’s a case of being able to enjoy the tour but also knowing what kind of job you’re going down there to do.”