Braden Hamlin-Uele, Corey Harawira-Naera, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Zane Tetevano are in line to make their debuts in the New Zealand Kiwis’ coming Tests against the Kangaroos and the Great Britain Lions.
The four players have all been named tonight in a squad which also features returns for wingers Jordan Rapana and Jamayne Isaako and back rowers Kevin Proctor and Joseph Tapine who weren’t involved in the June Test victory over Mate Ma’a Tonga at Mount Smart Stadium.
Tokoroa product Tetevano has a second opportunity to play his first Test after being in the squad but not being used in the Kiwis’ 34-14 win over Mate Ma’a Tonga in June.
A premiership winner with the Sydney Roosters last year, the 28-year-old was a regular again throughout this season totalling 23 appearances but, after being named for the grand final against Canberra, he was ultimately omitted.
Northland-raised Canterbury-Bankstown second rower Harawira-Naera has also earned a second chance of making his Test debut. He was originally selected in last year’s squad for the home Test against Australia and the following three-match series in England only to be ruled out with injury.
He played for the New Zealand Māori Kiwis in the match against the Australian Indigenous All-Stars in Melbourne in January and went on to make 21 appearances in his first season with the Bulldogs.
After previously representing the Cook Islands at Test level, Nicoll-Klokstad comes into the Kiwi squad for the first time after a superb season for beaten grand finalists the Canberra Raiders. He scored 11 tries in 25 appearances.
Glenora Bears junior and former Junior Kiwi Hamlin-Uele earns selection after impressing in 21 interchange appearances for the Sharks this year.
Harawira-Naera, Hamlin-Uele and Tetevano are also in the Kiwis’ World Cup Nines squad, Tetevano coming into both sides today after James Fisher-Harris was forced to withdraw with injury.
Of the 19 players in the squad for the Tonga Test in June, 15 return for the internationals against the Kangaroos and the Lions. Four of the playing 17 are unavailable due to injury – captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, prop Jesse Bromwich, centre Esan Marsters and back rower Fisher-Harris.
Three players from the premiership-winning Roosters side are named – centre Joseph Manu, back rower Isaac Liu and prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves – along with Tetevano while the beaten Raiders provide Nicoll-Klokstad, Rapana and Tapine.
In all 11 players in the Test squad are also in the Kiwis’ World Cup Nines side.
The Nines players assemble in Sydney on Monday with the Test squad gathering on Sunday week.
The Kiwis begin their Test campaign with their Oceania Cup clash against the Kangaroos in Wollongong on Friday, October 25 before flying to New Zealand for two Tests against the reformed GB Rugby League Lions (Great Britain).
The first of these will be the second match of an international tripleheader at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday, November 2, which also features the Kangaroos facing Mate Ma’a Tonga and Toa Samoa taking on Fiji Bati in Oceania Cup matches.
The Kiwis then move to Christchurch for the second Test at Orangetheory Stadium (formerly AMI Stadium) on Saturday, November 9.
NEW ZEALAND KIWIS | SQUAD
|Player||Club||Kiwi No||Tests for NZ|
|LEESON AH MAU||Vodafone Warriors||812||6|
|NELSON ASOFA-SOLOMONA||Melbourne Storm||804||6|
|KENNEATH BROMWICH||Melbourne Storm||796||8|
|KIERAN FORAN||Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs||757||21|
|BRADEN HAMLIN-UELE||Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks||–||–|
|COREY HARAWIRA-NAERA||Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs||–||–|
|JAHROME HUGHES||Melbourne Storm||819||1|
|JAMAYNE ISAAKO||Brisbane Broncos||808||2|
|SHAUN JOHNSON||Cronulla Sutherland Sharks||774||30|
|ISAAC LIU||Sydney Roosters||805||8|
|JOSEPH MANU||Sydney Roosters||815||5|
|BENJI MARSHALL||Wests Tigers||717||28|
|KEN MAUMALO||Vodafone Warriors||810||6|
|CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD||Canberra Raiders||–||–|
|BRITON NIKORA||Cronulla Sutherland Sharks||818||1|
|KEVIN PROCTOR||Gold Coast Titans||771||21|
|JORDAN RAPANA||Canberra Raiders||798||11|
|BRANDON SMITH||Melbourne Storm||816||5|
|JOSEPH TAPINE||Canberra Raiders||800||10|
|ZANE TETEVANO||Sydney Roosters||–||–|
|ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK||Vodafone Warriors||779||17|
|JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES||Sydney Roosters||755||29|