(Main photo: photosport.nz).
The final 24-man Kiwis squad for the end-of-year Four Nations is still a couple of weeks away from being announced, but already it’s shaping as a strong one.
With plenty of names confirmed, and some to be added as their teams are eliminated from the NRL finals, we try our best to predict what the final squad will look like.
Possible Kiwis 24-man squad: Jason Nightingale, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jordan Kahu, Solomone Kata, Jordan Rapana, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jesse Bromwich, Issac Luke, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Bodene Thompson, Tohu Harris, Simon Mannering, Elijah Taylor, James Fisher-Harris, Greg Eastwood, Jason Taumalolo, Lewis Brown, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Gerard Beale, Tuimoala Lolohea, Martin Taupau, Adam Blair, Kenny Bromwich.
*Ben Matulino was in our initial squad but withdrew due to injury. We replaced him with Kenny Bromwich.
* Sam Kasiano was in our initial squad but wasn’t included in the Kiwis’ train-on squad. We replaced him with James Fisher-Harris.
Major talking points:
- Jason Nightingale or Dallin Watene-Zelezniak look set to be the first-choice fullback, with no Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and both Tuimoala Lolohea and David Fusitu’a lacking significant experience there.
- Despite having a forgettable year in many respects, the lack of depth in a few of positions coupled with Tuimoala Lolohea’s versatility might see him included. Without him the Kiwis have no real back-up option in the halves, unless they play a back-rower there.