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David Bhana (pictured) is one of nine Vodafone Warriors named in a 19-man Junior Kiwis squad for a one-off international against the Junior Kangaroos at WIN Jubilee Oval in Sydney on Sunday. Photo: Photosport

Eight of them played for the Vodafone Junior Warriors in Sundays NYC grand final loss to Penrith while the ninth player is Ngani Laumape, who was named the clubs Vodafone NRL Rookie of the Year after making 14 first-grade appearances this year.

The eight from the Vodafone Junior Warriors grand final side are fullback David Fusitua, centre Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, halves Tuimoala Lolohea and Mason Lino, props Albert Vete and James Taylor and back rowers Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Bhana. Hooker Siliva Havili, who played for the Junior Kiwis in both 2011 and 2012, was set to make the side for a third time but was ruled out with a leg injury he picked up in the NYC grand final. Fusitua and Bhana were Junior Kiwis last year, too.

Also included are two players from the Penrith side that won the NYC premiership wing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and interchange forward Mitchell Clark as well as a third Panther Jarrod Wilson.

The Junior Kiwis will benefit from the New South Wales Cup experience Laumape, Vete, Bhana, Faitala-Mariner and Fusitua have gained playing for the Vulcans while Laumape is also able to draw on his NRL experience.

First-year Junior Kiwi coach Brent Gemmell said the squad also brought together players who have formed strong combinations during the season, notably Tuimoala Lolohea and Mason Lino with the Vodafone Junior Warriors and Manaia Cherrington and Kurtis Rowe with Wests Tigers.

Tui, at age 18, is playing at a level well above most of his peers, and with the support of his team-mate and kicker Mason Lino we have an established halves pairing who know each others game well, said Gemmell.

The two Tigers boys also bring something new and exciting to the team. Kurtis is a great fullback with a really good running game. He supports his ball carriers well and scores tries.

Other players who excite the coach are James Taylor, who earned the praise of a number of commentators (and experienced first grade players) for his ability to consistently break the line and create opportunities for his team and Jeremy Hawkins who came through the system from Wellington and has played well for the Canberra NYC side in a number of positions this year.


David Bhana (Vodafone Warriors)

Mania Cherrington (West Tigers)

Mitchell Clark (Penrith Panthers)

Zach Docker Clay (Parramatta Eels)

Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Vodafone Warriors)

David Fusitua (Vodafone Warriors)

Jeremy Hawkins (Canberra Raiders)

Ngani Laumape (Vodafone Warriors)

Mason Lino (Vodafone Warriors)

Tuimoala Lolohea (Vodafone Warriors)

David Minute (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

Takai Moeakiola (Parramatta Eels)

Kurtis Rowe (West Tigers)

Joseph Tapine (Newcastle Knights)

James Taylor (Vodafone Warriors)

Adam Tuimavave- Gerrard (Vodafone Warriors)

Albert Vete (Vodafone Warriors)

Dallin Watene Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers)

Jarrod Wilson (Penrith Panthers)
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