Kiwis go for power
06/09/2010 6:50 PM
PA Sport and Sportal
New Zealand has named a power-packed preliminary squad for the upcoming Four Nations series that includes big names like Warriors talisman Manu Vatuvei, Wests Tigers skipper Benji Marshall and Souths pocket rocket Issac Luke.
Wigan scrum half Thomas Leuluai and Leeds back rower Greg Eastwood have also been named in the squad for the end-of-season series.
Leuluai, who is seen as a hooker by Kiwi boss Stephen Kearney, and Eastwood, who is quitting Leeds at the end of the season, are the only Super League-based players included in an initial 43-strong group.
They were in last year’s Four Nations team and will link up with their team-mates after their clubs’ involvement in the Grand Final series, just in time for the warm-up Test against Samoa in Auckland on October 16.
NRL Players, though, provide the majority of the squad and in a good indication of the talent at New Zealand’s disposal, the top eight clubs have provided 31 names.
Table-topping St George-Illawarra have supplied Nathan Fien, Jason Nightingale and Jeremy Smith, while the Warriors account for 11 members, highlighted by Vatuvei and his partner in crime Lance Hohaia.
“The fact we have so many of the train-on squad involved in finals football starting this weekend is a major boost for us,” said Kearney.
“It has to be beneficial having such a significant number with the chance of going well into the finals, perhaps all the way to the grand final.”
Of the 43 players named, 12 are yet to make their national debuts. Warriors’ winger Kevin Locke and South Sydney back rower Eddy Pettybourne were both in the Kiwis’ official touring party for last year’s Four Nations in England and France but did not make it onto the field.
Warriors’ second rower Ukuma Ta’ai and Manly winger Tony Williams have both previously represented Tonga and their eligibility has yet to be confirmed with the Rugby League International Federation.
Kiwis Preliminary Squad: Alex Glenn, Antonio Winterstein (all Brisbane), Bryson Goodwin, Ben Roberts (Canterbury Bulldogs), Bronson Harrison (Canberra), Greg Eastwood (Leeds), Kieran Foran, Steve Matai, Tony Williams (Manly), Adam Blair, Sika Manu (Melbourne), Junior Sa’u, Zeb Taia (Newcastle), Krisnan Inu, Fuifui Moimoi (Parramatta), Sam McKendry, Frank Pritchard (Penrith), Nathan Fien, Jason Nightingale, Jeremy Smith (St George Illawarra), Roy Asotasi, Issac Luke, Eddy Pettybourne, Fetuli Talanoa (South Sydney), Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Joseph Leilua, Mose Masoe, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sam Perrett, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), Lewis Brown, Aaron Heremaia, Lance Hohaia, Kevin Locke, Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, Sam Rapira, Jerome Ropati, Ukuma Ta’ai, Manu Vatuvei (New Zealand Warriors), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers), Thomas Leuluai (Wigan).
The Australian Rugby League today announced that the following players have been selected in the Australian VB Kangaroos Four Nations’ Train-on squad and also the Prime Minister’s XIII Train-on squad:
Australian VB Kangaroos Four Nations Train-on squad:
Brisbane Broncos: Darren Lockyer, Sam Thaiday.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: Michael Ennis, Ben Hannant, Jamal Idris, Josh Morris
Cronulla Sharks: Paul Gallen
Melbourne Storm: Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith
Newcastle Knights: Kurt Gidley
North Queensland Cowboys: Matt Scott, Johnathan Thurston, Willie Tonga
Parramatta Eels: Jarryd Hayne, Timana Tahu
South Sydney Rabbitohs: David Taylor
Prime Minister’s X111 Train-on squad
Brisbane Broncos: Matt Gillett, Andrew McCullough, Corey Parker, Jharal Yow Yeh
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: Brett Kimmorley
Cronulla Sharks: Luke Douglas, Blake Ferguson, Kade Snowden
Newcastle Knights: Jarrod Mullen, Akulia Uate
Parramatta Eels: Tim Mannah, Ben Smith
South Sydney Rabbitohs: Michael Crocker, Ben Lowe, Nathan Merritt
Selection and announcement in either squad does not exclude players from being selected in the other squad/team.
All selections are subject to medical clearances and Clubs have been requested to provide medical evidence to the ARL should any player not be available for selection in the final teams.
Both Train-on squads will assemble next week at 10.30am on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, at Redfern Oval.
Further additions to the Australian VB Kangaroos Four Nations squad will be announced next Monday from the two teams eliminated after next weekend following Week 1 of the NRL Telstra Premiership Finals.
In addition, the Prime Minister’s XIII team to play Papua New Guinea will also be announced next Monday, 13 September, 2010.
nrl.com says jennings n lyon r out of the 4 nations with ankle injuries. who do u reckon our centres will be? (coz inglis is out too right?) im thinking maybe gasnier n tate
If that the case then Lawry should be good.
Yeah if they are out then I think Lawrence will be in the team too.
I’m going to the eng - aus match in melbourne. Don’t care about the match too much but keen to check out Aami Park
Yeah I want to check out that new stadium too.
Ps I like that Rey Mysterio mask in Wests Tigers colors!
yeah, I’ve been wearing it to games since dragons at kogarah. Everyone seems to like it