Six Vodafone Warriors, including the entire spine, have been named in the 20-man Kiwi squad for Friday night’s Anzac Test at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
After helping the Vodafone Warriors to their gritty 14-13 win over the Roosters yesterday, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (11 Tests), Kieran Foran (20 Tests) and Simon Mannering (41 Tests) all return after last appearing for the Kiwis in 2015.
They join incumbents Shaun Johnson (20 Tests), Issac Luke (41 Tests) and David Fusitu’a (2 Tests).
Centre Solomone Kata, who played all five Tests in the Kiwis’ 2017 end of season campaign, was out of contention with the hamstring injury he picked up in the Vodafone Warriors’ Anzac Day encounter with Melbourne.
Two new faces were originally included in the squad last night – Melbourne prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona and hooker Brandon Smith - but Asofa-Solomona was ruled out today with a hand injury he suffered in the Storm's clash against St George Illawarra yesterday. He has been replaced by Wests Tigers back rower Elijah Taylor who played the most vrecent of his 10 Tests in 2013.
Also making a return to the Kiwis is St George Illawarra prop Russell Packer, who hasn’t played in the black jumper since 2011.
Manu Ma’u was unavailable for selection due to injury.
KIWI SQUAD | 2017 ANZAC TEST
GIO Stadium, Canberra
8.00pm, Friday, May 5
Adam Blair (Brisbane) 40 Tests
Jesse Bromwich (c) (Melbourne) 23 Tests
Kenny Bromwich (Melbourne) 1 Test
Kieran Foran (Vodafone Warriors) 20 Tests
David Fusitu’a (Vodafone Warriors) 2 Tests
Shaun Johnson (Vodafone Warriors) 20 Tests
Jordan Kahu (Brisbane) 8 Tests
Issac Luke (Vodafone Warriors) 41 Tests
Simon Mannering (Vodafone Warriors) 41 Tests
Kodi Nikorima (Brisbane) 4 Tests
Russell Packer (St George Illawarra) 2 Tests
Kevin Proctor (Gold Coast) 16 Tests
Jordan Rapana (Canberra) 4 Tests
Brandon Smith (Melbourne) 0 Tests
Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland) 9 Tests
Martin Taupau (Manly) 15 Tests
Elijah Taylor (Wests Tigers) 10 Tests
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Vodafone Warriors) 11 Tests
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith) 2 Tests
Dean Whare (Penrith) 15 Tests