Kiwis galore on show
Any number of Kiwi internationals will be on show when the Vodafone Warriors and the Sydney Roosters meet in Saturday's NRL 14th-round #ZombieNight clash at Mount Smart Stadium (8.00pm kick-off; match day sponsor: Vodafone).
The home side will have four players who starred in the Kiwis' Anzac Test win over the Kangaroos in Brisbane last month while the Roosters will have three, most notably Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who will give Vodafone Warriors members and fans their first in-the-flesh look at the future since he signed a three-year contract with the club from 2016.
The Vodafone Warriors will boast captain of both club and country Simon Mannering along with wing Manu Vatuvei, halfback Shaun Johnson and prop Ben Matulino. All were outstanding as the Kiwis won 26-12, Vatuvei scoring two tries in a man of the match effort while Johnson scored a try and kicked five goals.
As well as Tuivasa-Sheck, the Roosters will have centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall and prop Sam Moa from the victorious Kiwi side.
Of the seven players Mannering, Vatuvei, Johnson and Kenny-Dowall were also in the Kiwi side that beat the Kangaroos twice in last year's Four Nations victory.
Also on the field on Saturday night will be former Kiwi prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for the Roosters and Vodafone Warriors second rower Bodene Thompson, who was in New Zealand's Four Nations squad but didn't play a Test. Included on the Roosters' extended bench is Suaia Matagi, recently released by the Vodafone Warriors, who also played for the Kiwis in the Four Nations.
The Roosters have two other New Zealanders in their squad in former Vodafone Junior Warrior Sio Siua Taukeiaho in the second row and ex-Junior Kiwi hooker Matt McIlwrick on the bench.
Other features of the visiting side's squad are wing Daniel Tupou, who isn't wanted by New South Wales for Origin II, former Vodafone Warriors standoff James Maloney and Blake Ferguson who returns from injury in the centres. Included on the bench is the imposing Dylan Napa, son of Stan Napa who carved out an impressive career with Otahuhu and Auckland in the 1970s before moving to Queensland. Dylan Napa was in Queensland's wider squad for Origin I.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS | Roger Tuivasa-Sheck; Daniel Tupou, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Blake Ferguson, Brendan Elliot; James Maloney, Jackson Hastings; Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa; Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Mitchell Aubusson; Isaac Liu. Interchange: Matt McIlwrick, Willie Manu, Kane Evans, Dylan Napa, Suaia Matagi.