First Kiwis Train-on Squad Named
First Kiwis Train-on Squad
Auckland, New Zealand, September 5, 2012 - Twelve players have been named today in the first Kiwis train-on squad to prepare for the October 13 Test match against the Kangaroos at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville.
The players come from the eight clubs that will not feature in the NRL play-offs, being the Gold Coast Titans, Newcastle Knights, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers, St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters, Vodafone Warriors and Wests Tigers.
The squad is headed by the Kiwis captain Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers) and features two uncapped players in Ben Henry (Warriors) and Alehana Mara (Warriors). Both newcomers have been selected previously in New Zealand age-group teams. Players unavailable due to injury or surgery are Kevin Locke (Warriors) and Jason Nightingale (Dragons), while Nathan Fien (Dragons) has retired from international rugby league.
The national selectors - Richie Barnett, Tony Iro, Stephen Kearney and Tawera Nikau- will add to the squad in the coming weeks as teams are eliminated from the NRL finals.
While the Kiwis have just the Townsville test match at the end of this year, next year is a big one for the game. The Kiwis play their early season test against the Kangaroos in Canberra before all attention turns to the Rugby League World Cup.
Hosted in England and Wales, with matches also in France and Ireland, the World Cup kicks-off on October 26, 2013. The Kiwis will look to retain the World Cup on November 30 at Manchester’s Old Trafford.
2012 KIWIS TRAIN-ON SQUAD (at September 5)
Penrith Panthers: Sam McKendry
Sydney Roosters: Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Vodafone Warriors: Ben Henry, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering, Alehana Mara, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Manu Vatuvei
Wests Tigers: Adam Blair, Benji Marshall
Unavailable: St George Illawarra Dragons: Nathan Fien (retired from international rugby league following April’s Test), Jason Nightingale (undergoing knee surgery); Vodafone Warriors: Kevin Locke (injury – high ankle sprain).
2012 KIWIS MATCH SCHEDULE
October 13 – vs Australia, Dairy Farmers Stadium