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Kiwis Squad Grows After NRL Semis

Thursday, September 29, 2016
Kiwis Squad Grows After NRL Semis

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Canberra Raiders stars Jordan Rapana and Joseph Tapine have been added to the NZ Kiwis train-on squad to prepare for next month’s test against Australia and the subsequent Four Nations tournament in England.

The pair join North Queensland’s Dally M Medal winner Jason Taumalolo in the wider group, after their clubs were eliminated from the NRL playoffs in last weekend’s semi-finals.

Rapana has been one of the NRL’s form wings this season, scoring 23 tries and making 26 line-breaks, and leading the competition in both categories.

A former NZ Maori representative, he has also played internationally for Cook Islands, but has made a very strong case for Kiwis inclusion, benefitting from his combination with Joey centre Leilua down the Raiders right flank.

Tapine is a former Junior Kiwi, who transferred from Newcastle Knights to Canberra mid-season and immediately made an impact off the bench.

Taumalolo (Kiwi #786) debuted for the Kiwis during the 2014 Four Nations and last played for the national side against Australia in May.

Their inclusion brings the wider squad to 32, with the final touring group of 24 due to be named next week, after Sunday’s NRL Premiership final.

Meanwhile, Wests Tigers centre Tim Simona and Brisbane Broncos second row Alex Glenn have dropped out of contention through injury.

The current NZ Kiwis train-on squad is:

Adam BlairBrisbane Broncos
Lewis BrownManly Warringah Sea Eagles
Greg EastwoodCanterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
James Fisher-HarrisPenrith Panthers
Addin Fonua-Blake Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
David Fusitu’aNZ Warriors
Shaun JohnsonNZ Warriors
Jordan KahuBrisbane Broncos
Solomone KataNZ Warriors
Shaun Kenny-DowallSydney Roosters
Thomas LeuluaiNZ Warriors
Sam LisoneNZ Warriors
Isaac LiuSydney Roosters
Tuimoala LoloheaNZ Warriors
Issac LukeNZ Warriors
Simon ManneringNZ Warriors
Te Maire MartinPenith Panthers
Suaia MatagiPenrith Panthers
Manu Ma’uParramatta Eels
Sam MoaSydney Roosters
Jason NightingaleSt George Illawarra Dragons
Jordan RapanaCanberra Raiders
Brad TakairangiParramatta Eels
Joseph TapineCanberra Raiders
Jason TaumaloloNorth Queensland Cowboys
Martin TaupauManly Warringah Sea Eagles
Elijah TaylorWests Tigers
Jazz TevagaNZ Warriors
Bodene ThompsonNZ Warriors
Manu VatuveiNZ Warriors
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Sydney Roosters
Dallin Watene-ZelezniakPenrith Panthers

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