New Zealand paceman Tim Southee says England "won't die wondering" under his former team-mate Brendon McCullum.

McCullum was this month appointed as England Test head coach on a four-year deal.

It will be the ex-Black Caps captain's first international coaching role and he has been charged with the task of turning around the fortunes of a side in poor form.

England are bottom of the World Test Championship and have not won any of their past five series, a dismal run that resulted in Joe Root stepping down as captain and Ben Stokes replacing him.

New Zealand will attempt to make it a painful start to McCullum's tenure in the first Test at Lord's, which starts on Thursday, but Black Caps quick Southee thinks the 40-year-old can make a big impact.

He said: "It's exciting, obviously a great challenge for Brendon. I know him pretty well. Everything he does, he gives it a 100 per cent, so this will be no different.

"He's excited about the next wee while and what lays ahead of him. I'm sure he'll be doing everything he can to bring the best out of this England Test side. He's a great man-manager and he loves to try to get the best out of people.

"I'm sure he'll be doing that here as well. The way he played his cricket was exciting and fearless, and that's the way he is a person and I'm sure that's the way he is as a coach as well.

"It will be an exciting brand of cricket, I'm sure. They [England] won't die wondering I'd imagine if the way he goes about things is anything to go by."

New Zealand won the World Test Championship in England last year, but drew their past two series against Bangladesh and South Africa.

They have had changes of their own with Ross Taylor and BJ Watling retiring, but Southee is optimistic they can show their class in London.

He said: "It's very important, dropping a couple of Test matches in our home summer puts a little bit extra on this series. But our focus is the first five days here at Lord's, then we shift on to the second Test and the third. As a group, we try to play what's in front of us, attack it one Test at a time.

"We've been lucky that we've had a pretty consistent group of guys for a long period of time. Those two guys, BJ and Ross, have been massive parts of the side for such a long time, they're obviously big holes to fill.

"But we've got guys who have been playing some pretty good cricket and waiting in the wings for a while. Tom Blundell's had glimpses, played the last year and made some pretty handy contributions and the likes of Devon Conway and Will Young have impressed in their short international careers so far."