Vodafone Warriors 2016 rookie Jazz Tevaga is one of eight players added to the train-on squad to prepare for the Kiwis’ one-off Test against the Kangaroos in Perth next month and the Four Nations in England to follow.
Newly-appointed Kiwi coach David Kidwell and the selectors brought in utility Tevaga alongside three Brisbane players and four Penrith players after their sides were eliminated from the NRL finals last weekend.
At the same time, Vodafone Warriors prop Ben Matulino has withdrawn from the squad to have offseason surgery.
Tevaga wasn't the only NRL rookie named today. Also included were Penrith's James Fisher-Harris and Te Maire Martin.
Forward Fisher-Harris, who hails from the Northland town of Rawene, enjoyed a break-through season with the Panthers, taking advantage of injuries to cement a spot in the first-grade line-up. Martin also impressed in six NRL appearances before he was sidelined with injury.
The latest inclusions brings the current squad to 31, with more to come after next weekend’s NRL semi-finals.
The final touring squad of 24 will be named during the week after the NRL grand final on October 2.
The Kiwis face Australia on October 15 and kick off their Four Nations title defence against host England on October 29.
KIWIS | 2016 TRAIN-ON SQUAD
Brisbane | Adam Blair, Alex Glenn, Jordan Kahu
Canterbury Bankstown | Greg Eastwood
Manly | Lewis Brown, Addin Fonua-Blake, Martin Taupau
Parramatta | Manu Ma'u, Brad Takairangi
Penrith | James Fisher-Harris, Te Maire Martin, Suaia Matagi, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
St George Illawarra | Jason Nightingale
Sydney Roosters | Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Isaac Liu, Sam Moa, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Vodafone Warriors | David Fusitu’a, Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata, Thomas Leuluai, Sam Lisone, Tuimoala Lolohea, Issac Luke, Simon Mannering, Jazz Tevaga, Bodene Thompson, Manu Vatuvei
Wests Tigers | Tim Simona, Elijah Taylor