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National Selectors Name First Group of for Train-on Squad

National Selectors Name First Group of Players for Train-on Squad

Auckland, New Zealand, September 07, 2011 – Eight current or recent Kiwis and an NRL rookie are among the first nine players named today in the national train-on squad to prepare for New Zealand’s end of season international programme in October-November.

National selectors Howie Tamati (convener), Stephen Kearney, Tony Iro and Tawera Nikau will add to the squad in the coming weeks as teams are eliminated from the NRL finals.

The first group of nine players covers the eight clubs which failed to make the play-offs – Canterbury-Bankstown, South Sydney, the Sydney Roosters, Penrith, Cronulla, Parramatta, Canberra and Gold Coast.

Included along with experienced internationals like Jeremy Smith, Sam Perrett, Frank Pritchard and Issac Luke is 19-year-old Canberra back rower Josh Papalii. Born in Auckland and raised in Queensland, Papalii started the season playing in the NYC – and is still eligible for the competition next year – but finished it by making 14 NRL appearances for the Raiders.

Sydney Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall (groin) and Canterbury-Bankstown forward Greg Eastwood (wrist) were ruled out with injuries while Roosters forward Frank-Paul Nuuausala is due to have off-season surgery.

The Kiwis assemble soon after the NRL grand final to travel to Rarotonga to play a one-off Test against the Cook Islands on Thursday, October 6. The Sir Peter Leitch QSM Challenge Trophy will be at stake in the first Test the Kiwis have ever played in the Cook Islands.

They then fly to Sydney en route to Newcastle for the Bill Kelly Cup Trans-Tasman Test against the Kangaroos at Ausgrid Stadium on October 16 before heading to the United Kingdom for the 2011 Four Nations. The World Cup holders and 2010 Four Nations champions meet Australia in Warrington on October 28, Wales at Wembley in London on November 5 and England in Hull on November 12. The top two sides in the competition clash in the final at Elland Road in Leeds on November 19.


2011 KIWIS – TRAIN-ON SQUAD

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: Frank Pritchard.

Canberra Raiders: Bronson Harrison, Josh Papalii.

Cronulla Sharks: Jeremy Smith.

Parramatta Eels: Fuifui Moimoi.

Penrith Panthers: Sam McKendry.

South Sydney Rabbitohs: Issac Luke.

Sydney Roosters: Sam Perrett, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.


2011 KIWIS – TOUR SCHEDULE

October 6 v Cook Islands National Stadium

(Sir Peter Leitch QSM Challenge Trophy) Rarotonga

October 16 v Australia Ausgrid Stadium

(Bill Kelly Cup) Newcastle

October 28 v Australia Halliwell Jones Stadium

(Four Nations) Warrington

November 5 v Wales Wembley Stadium

(Four Nations) London

November 12 v England KC Stadium

(Four Nations) Hull

November 19 Four Nations Final Elland Road

Leeds


ENDS

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