Competition -  NRL Premiership.
Round - Round 26
Date  -   September 4th 2016.
Teams - Wests Tigers v Canberra Raiders.
at - AAMI Park Melbourne.
Pic - Grant Trouville © NRL Photos.

Rapana and Tapine picked for Kiwis

Five rookies have been named in the NZ Kiwis squad to take on Australia in Perth next week and the subsequent Four Nations tournament.

In his first selection as Kiwis head coach, David Kidwell has named NZ Warriors backs David Fusitu’a and Solomone Kata, promising five-eighth Te Maire Martin, Canberra second row Joseph Tapine and in-form Raiders team-mate Jordan Rapana.

If selected to play on tour, one of them has the opportunity to become Kiwi #800.

“All of these players have shown exciting form during the NRL season and have certainly earned their selection on merit,” says Kidwell.

“But we’re always looking one step ahead, whether that’s to next year’s World Cup or beyond, and we also think all these players can play a big part in keeping the Kiwis on top for many years to come.

“In picking this team, we’ve tried to achieve a balance between players who are proven at test level and those that are the future of the Kiwis programme. Injuries play an unfortunate part in our game and some of these newcomers will get an immediate opportunity to show they’re ready for the next level.”

Kiwis regulars unavailable for the up-coming campaign include Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Peta Hiku, Dean Whare, Kieran Foran, Ben Matulino, Alex Glenn and Kodi Nikorima.

Kidwell has also opted to retain Melbourne Storm prop Jesse Bromwich (Kiwi #775) as his captain, continuing the role he filled against Australia at Newcastle in May. Long-serving skipper Simon Mannering (Kiwi #731) is also in the group.

“Jesse did a great job leading the team earlier this year in Simon’s absence and, at this stage of his career, I think Simon is just as happy not having the weight of captaincy on him,” says Kidwell.

“But, ultimately, they will both be part of a strong leadership group that set a strong culture for this team.”

The Kiwis squad will assemble in Perth over next weekend for the test against Australia on October 15.

They open their Four Nations account against hosts England on Sunday, October 30 (NZ time) at Huddersfield, followed by Australia (November 6) and Scotland (November 12).

The 24-man NZ Kiwis squad is:

Name

Club

Kiwi No.

Tests

Gerard Beale  

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks  

 767

 8

Adam Blair

Brisbane Broncos

 732

35 

Jesse Bromwich   

Melbourne Storm

 775

18 

Lewis Brown

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles   

 762

10 

Greg Eastwood

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

 737

24 

David Fusitu'a

NZ Warriors

 -

Tohu Harris

Melbourne Storm

 778

11 

Shaun Johnson

NZ Warriors

 774

15 

Jordan Kahu

Brisbane Broncos

 790

 4

Solomone Kata

NZ Warriors

 -

Shaun Kenny-Dowall

Sydney Roosters

 746

 17

Thomas Leuluai

NZ Warriors

 704

 34

Issac Luke

NZ Warriors

 749

 36

Simon Mannering

NZ Warriors

 731

 41

Te Maire Martin

Penrith Panthers

 -

 -

Manu Ma'u

Parramatta Eels

 795

 1

Jason Nightingale

St George Illawarra Dragons

 747

 29

Kevin Proctor

Melbourne Storm

 771

 12

Jordan Rapana

Canberra Raiders

 -

 -

Joseph Tapine

Canberra Raiders

 -

 -

Jason Taumalolo

North Queensland Cowboys

 786

 5

Martin Taupau

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

 785

 10

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves  

Sydney Roosters

 755

 17

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

Penrith Panthers

 794

 1