New Zealand has named its Kiwis, Kiwi Ferns and Junior Kiwis squads for the October 13 triple-header against their Australian counterparts at Mount Smart Stadium.
The Kiwis have named five debutants for their showdown with the Kangaroos and tour of Britain.
Sydney Roosters grand final hero Joseph Manu, Melbourne Storm duo Brandon Smith and Jahrome Hughes, Canterbury-bound back-rower Corey Harawira-Naera and young Warriors forward Isaiah Papali’i are the uncapped players.
Roosters forward Zane Tetavano was denied a potential New Zealand Test debut due to an injury picked up in the grand final, while Warriors trio Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Issac Luke and Tohu Harris, Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Bulldogs forward Raymond Faitala Mariner and Knights duo Slade Griffin and Herman Ese’ese were also unavailable because of injury.
Shaun Johnson, Jesse Bromwich and Adam Blair return to the side in a key boost with the squad featuring 12 players who have played three Tests or fewer.
“This is a new era for the Kiwis and that’s again reflected in the make-up of this squad as it was for the Denver Test,” Kiwis coach Michael Maguire said.
“A lot of experienced players have moved on in recent years in the shape of Simon Mannering, Thomas Leuluai, Manu Vatuvei, Jason Nightingale, Ben Matulino, Kieran Foran, Russell Packer and others.
“We’re also without Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Issac Luke, Tohu Harris and Nelson Asofa-Solomona this time while there have been a number of players who have aligned themselves with Tonga.
“For us it’s really exciting bringing in these new players as we strive to take the national side to the place we want it to be. That starts with the Test against the Kangaroos.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us and for the sporting public having the world champions in our own backyard. We also have the Kiwi Ferns and the Junior Kiwis taking no Australia at Mount Smart Stadium.”
NEW ZEALAND KIWIS SQUAD | END OF SEASON CAMPAIGN
|Player||Club||Kiwi No||Tests for NZ|
|LEESON AH MAU||St George Illawarra Dragons||812||1|
|GERARD BEALE||Vodafone Warriors||767||10|
|ADAM BLAIR||Vodafone Warriors||732||45|
|JESSE BROMWICH||Melbourne Storm||775||24|
|KENNEATH BROMWICH||Melbourne Storm||796||3|
|JAMES FISHER-HARRIS||Penrith Panthers||801||2|
|COREY HARAWIRA-NAERA||Penrith Panthers||–||–|
|JAHROME HUGHES||Melbourne Storm||–||–|
|JAMAYNE ISAAKO||Brisbane Broncos||808||1|
|SHAUN JOHNSON||Vodafone Warriors||774||25|
|ISAAC LIU||Sydney Roosters||805||3|
|JOSEPH MANU||Sydney Roosters||–||–|
|ESAN MARSTERS||Wests Tigers||809||1|
|KEN MAUMALO||Vodafone Warriors||810||1|
|KODI NIKORIMA||Brisbane Broncos||790||9|
|ISAIAH PAPALI’I||Vodafone Warriors||–||–|
|KEVIN PROCTOR||Gold Coast Titans||771||17|
|JORDAN RAPANA||Canberra Raiders||798||8|
|BRANDON SMITH||Melbourne Storm||–||–|
|JOSEPH TAPINE||Canberra Raiders||800||8|
|MARTIN TAUPAU||Manly Warringah Sea Eagles||785||21|
|JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES||Sydney Roosters||755||24|
|DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK||Penrith Panthers||794||7|
Saturday, October 13 v Australia Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Saturday, October 27 v England KC Stadium, Hull
Sunday, November 4 v England Anfield, Liverpool
Saturday, November 10 v England Elland Road, Leeds
The @NZRL_Kiwis have named five debutants to face the @Kangaroos and @England_RL, a squad that includes three members of the @sydneyroosters #NRLGF winning side.https://t.co/wPh12SoGRN#NRL pic.twitter.com/reAQ4xC7IX
— NRL (@NRL) October 1, 2018
The Kiwi Ferns have named a squad boasting an impressive mix of experience and in-form newcomers for their hotly-anticipated showdown with the Jillaroos.
Joining familiar names such as Warriors duo Laura Mariu and Apii Nicholls, Dragons flyer Honey Hireme, NRLW grand final player of the match Kimiora Nati and Broncos teammates Teulia Fotu-Moala and Maitua Feterika are three debutants.
Canterbury-based Sui Pauaraisa, Warriors teammate Onjerulina Leiataua and Brisbane’s Lavinia Gould are the new faces.
Ferns coach Kelvin Wright said his team is filled with “some great leadership and experience mixed with some exciting youth whose form has been too hard to ignore.”
“It’s always extra special when you can hand players their debut,”
KIW FERNS SQUAD (listed by NRL club)
New Zealand Warriors: Raquel Anderson-Pitman, Apii Nicholls, Langi Veainu, Amber Kani, Annetta-Claudia Nuuausala, Aieshaleigh Smalley, Laura Mariu, *Onjeurlina Leiataua, *Masuisuimatamaalii Tauasa-Pauaraisa; Brisbane Broncos: Ngatokotoru Arakua, Karley Te Kawa, Kimiora Nati, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Maitua Feterika, *Lavinia Gould, Lilieta Maumau; St George Illawarra Dragons: Honey Hireme, Raecene McGregor; Sydney Roosters: Nita Maynard
— Women's Rugby League (@WRugbyLeague) October 1, 2018
Key features of the Junior Kiwis squad include the selection of Isaiah Papali’i – who is also in the senior Kiwis’ touring squad – and fellow Warriors first-grader Joseph Vuna. Canterbury (NZ) product Jordan Riki, currently contracted to the Broncos, has also been named after helping Norths Devils to a Queensland Under-20s title.
“It’s great to have a lot of experienced players available, many of them having come through the New Zealand Rugby League pathways in New Zealand 16s and 18s teams as well as NRL teams recently,” Junior Kiwis coach Ezra Howe said.
“I’m looking forward to working alongside a fantastic management and coaching staff in a campaign which is extra special for these players being on home soil in Aotearoa,”
“Creating meaningful pathways for our Kiwi rugby league players is important and I look forward to ongoing involvement with Michael Maguire and Motu Tony in developing our future Kiwis talent,” Howe added.
JUNIOR KIWIS SQUAD (listed by NRL team)
North Queensland Cowboys: Emry Pere, Peter Hola, Sean Mullany; New Zealand Warriors: Joe Vuna, Isaiah Papali’i, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Hayze Perham, Tom Ale, Paul Turner; South Sydney Rabbitohs: Lucky Ta’avale, Mawene Hiroti; St George Illawarra Dragons: Steven Marsters; Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: Morgan Harper; Melbourne Storm: Kelma Tuilagi, Kayleb Milne; Penrith Panthers: Dean Blore; Canberra Raiders: Paul Roache; Brisbane Broncos: Jordan Riki; Cronulla Sharks:Jackson Ferris
NEW ZEALAND V AUSTRALIA TRIPLE-HEADER – Saturday, October 13
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
3.05pm | Junior Kiwis v Junior Kangaroos, 3.05pm
5.15pm | Kiwi Ferns v Jillaroos, 5.15pm
7.45pm | Kiwis v Kangaroos, 7.45pm