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Manu Vatuvei during a Vodafone Warriors training session at Mt Smart Stadium

After his record-breaking deeds for the Kiwis, veteran Vodafone Warriors wing Manu Vatuvei is now set to make an emotional Test debut for Tonga at the age of 31 in Saturday’s international against Fiji at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Sydney.

‘The Beast’ made a try-scoring comeback from an injury layoff on Sunday when he turned out for the Vodafone Warriors in their Intrust Super Premiership clash against Wyong at Mount Smart Stadium.

Today he was called into the Mate Ma’a Tonga squad replacing former Vodafone Warriors team-mate Konrad Hurrell, who has been ruled out.

Auckland-born Vatuvei is among the most decorated players in Kiwi history, scoring a New Zealand Test record 20 tries in 28 Tests since his debut in 2005. He also has a club record 152 tries in 226 NRL appearances for the Vodafone Warriors (10th equal on the competition's all-time list dating back to 1908).

Vatuvei has been in each of the Kiwis’ title-winning squads at the 2005 Tri Nations, the 2008 Rugby League World Cup and the 2010 and 2014 Four Nations. He has the distinction of scoring two tries in the 24-0 Tri Nations final win over the Kangaroos in 2005 and also snared a double in the 22-18 Four Nations final victory against the Australians in Wellington in 2014. ‘The Beast’ delivered another try-scoring double in his man of the match performance in the 26-12 Anzac Test win in 2015, his last international appearance.

Now two years on ‘The Beast’, is set to achieve the dream he has always had of one day playing for the country of his origin. It will be a highly-charged occasion as he represents his parents' homeland.

Tonga’s match against Fiji is just part of a packed programme of representative matches on this week. It’s the second leg of a triple header at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday which kicks off with the Cook Islands facing Papua New Guinea and finishes with Toa Samoa facing England.

The weekend launches with three Australia-New Zealand clashes in Canberra – the Junior Kangaroos against the Junior Kiwis, the Jillaroos facing the Kiwi Ferns and the Kangaroos taking on the Kiwis.

The feature in Mudgee on Sunday is the last-ever City v Country encounter.

Across the weekend a total of 17 Vodafone Warriors players plus Vodafone Warriors NRL community ambassador Georgia Hale are on rep duty this week:

  • Kiwis | Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, David Fusitu’a, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering and Issac Luke
  • Mate Ma’a Tonga | Manu Vatuvei, Tuimoala Lolohea and Ata Hingano
  • Toa Samoa | Ken Maumalo and Bunty Afoa
  • Cook Islands | Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
  • Kiwi Ferns | Georgia Hale
  • Junior Kiwis | Chanel Harris-Tavita, Erin Clark and Isaiah Papali’i
  • Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents | Matt Allwood and Toafofoa Sipley

The Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents face the Queensland Residents in Brisbane on Sunday. Vodafone Warriors Matt Allwood and Toafofoa Sipley were both named in the NSW side today (Tuesday), Allwood making the side again after being joined by Ken Maumalo and Shaun Lane last year (when Maumalo scored three tries in NSW's 30-16 win).

While the Vodafone Warriors were unbeaten until last weekend, they have just two players in the selection this time but other 2017 team members have been selected for other sides - Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Cook Islands), Bunty Afoa (Toa Samoa), Tuimoala Lolohea (Mate Ma'a Tonga), Ata Hingano (Mate Ma'a Tonga), Isaiah Papali'i (Junior Kiwis) and Erin Clark (Junior Kiwis) plus Manu Vatuvei (Mate Ma'a Tonga).

Here are all the updated squads named for the weekend’s matches.





GIO Stadium, Canberra

3.15pm, Friday, May 5

JUNIOR KANGAROOS | Corey Allan (Brisbane Broncos); Tyronne Roberts-Davis (Gold Coast Titans), Enari Tuala (North Queensland Cowboys), Jesse Ramien (Cronulla Sharks), Curtis Scott (Melbourne Storm); Jai Field (St George Illawarra Dragons), Brodie Croft (c) (Melbourne Storm); Stefano Hala (Penrith Panthers), Reece Robson (St George Illawarra Dragons), Blake Lawrie (St George Illawarra Dragons); Jaydn Su’a (Brisbane Broncos), Sam Stone (Newcastle Knights); Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs). Interchange: Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters), Jack Murchie (Canberra Raiders), Ray Stone (Parramatta Eels), Emre Guler (Canberra Raiders), Gehamat Shibasaki (Brisbane Broncos).

JUNIOR KIWIS | Briton Nikora (Cronulla Sharks), Caleb Fuimaono (North Queensland Cowboys), Chanel Harris-Tavita (Vodafone Warriors), Dane Aukafolau (Paramatta Eels), Emry Pere (North Queensland Cowboys), Erin Clark (Vodafone Warriors), Fabien Puletua-Kiri (Canberra Raiders), Greg Leleisiuao (Paramatta Eels), Isaiah Papali'i (Vodafone Warriors), Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers), Manase Fainu (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Moeaki Fotuaika (Gold Coast Titans), Patrick Herbert (St George Illawarra), Reimis Smith (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs), Sione Katoa (Cronulla Sharks), Siosifa Talakai (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Sitili Tupouniua (Sydney Roosters), Steven Marsters (St George Illawarra).



GIO Stadium, Canberra

5.25pm, Friday, May 5

JILLAROOS | Sam Bremner; Karina Brown, Corban McGregor, Caitlin Moran, Chelsea Baker; Zahara Temara, Simone Smith; Ruan Sims, Brittany Breayley, Heather Ballinger; Renae Kunst, Annette Brander; Simaima Taufu. Interchange: Ali Brigginshaw, Rebecca Young, Elliana Walton, Amelia Kuk, Maddie Studdon, Isabelle Kelly, Kody House.

KIWI FERNS | Alexandra Cook; Annetta Nuuausala, Atawhai Tupaea, Bunty Kuruwaka-Crowe, Corrina Whiley; Crystal Tamarua, Georgia Hale; Hilda Peters, Krystal Rota, Langi Veainu; Laura Mariu, Lilieta Maumau; Madison Bartlett. Interchange: Ngatokotoru Arakua, Nora Maaka, Sarina Fiso, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Va'anessa Molia-Fraser.



GIO Stadium, Canberra

8.00pm, Friday, May 5

KANGAROOS | Darius Boyd (Brisbane Broncos); Blake Ferguson (Sydney Roosters), Josh Dugan (St George Illawarra Dragons), Will Chambers (Melbourne Storm), Valentine Holmes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks); Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm); Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Cameron Smith (c) (Melbourne Storm), David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs); Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters), Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos); Trent Merrin (Penrith Panthers). Interchange: Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys), Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos), Jordan McLean (Melbourne Storm), James Maloney (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Justin O’Neill (North Queensland Cowboys).

KIWIS | Adam Blair (Brisbane Broncos), Jesse Bromwich (c) (Melbourne Storm), Kenny Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Kieran Foran (Vodafone Warriors), David Fusitu’a (Vodafone Warriors), Shaun Johnson (Vodafone Warriors), Jordan Kahu (Brisbane Broncos), Issac Luke (Vodafone Warriors), Simon Mannering (Vodafone Warriors), Kodi Nikorima (Brisbane Broncos), Russell Packer (St George Illawarra Dragons), Kevin Proctor (Gold Coast Titans), Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders), Brandon Smith (Melbourne Storm), Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys), Martin Taupau (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Elijah Taylor (Wests Tigers), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Vodafone Warriors), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers), Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers).



Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney

3.30pm, Saturday, May 6

COOK ISLANDS | Alex Glenn (Brisbane Broncos), Makahesi Makatoa (Canberra Raiders), Reubenn Rennie (Mounties), Isaac John (Mounties), Geoff Daniela              (St Marys), Sam Mataora (Newcastle Knights), Marata Niukore (Parramatta Eels), Moses Noovao-McGreal (Sunshine Coast), Reuben Porter (Sydney Roosters), Kobe Tararo (Titans), Jonathon Ford (Toulouse Olympique), David Munro (Townsville Blackhawks, Carne Doyle-Manga (Tweed Heads), Ezra Howe jnr (Tweed Heads), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Vodafone Warriors), Uiti Baker (West Newcastle), Esan Marsters (Wests Tigers), Aaron Teroi (Newcastle Thunder).

PAPUA NEW GUINEA | Stargroth Amean (PNG Hunters); Justin Olam (Melbourne Storm), Thompson Teteh (Redcliffe Dolphins), Nene McDonald (St George Illawarra Dragons), Adex Were (PNG Hunters); Watson Boas (PNG Hunters), Ase Boas (PNG Hunters); Henry Noki (PNG Hunters), Wartovo Puara jnr (PNG Hunters), Luke Page (Burleigh Bears); Rod Griffin (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Rhys Martin (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs); Stanton Albert (PNG Hunters). Interchange: Tommy Butterfield (East Tigers), Willie Minoga (PNG Hunters), Wellington Albert (PNG Hunters), Richard Pandia (Ipswich Jets), Nixon Put (PNG Hunters).



Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney

5.30pm, Saturday, May 6

MATE MA’A TONGA | Will Hopoate (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs); Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters), Moses Suli (Wests Tigers), Brenko Lee (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Manu Vatuvei (Vodafone Warriors); Tuimoala Lolohea (Vodafone Warriors), Mafoa’aeata Hingano (Vodafone Warriors); Leilani Latu (Penrith Panthers), Siliva Havili (St George Illawarra Dragons), Addin Fonua-Blake (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles); Felise Kaufusi (Melbourne Storm), Tony Williams (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks); Joe Ofahengaue (Brisbane Broncos). Interchange: Sione Katoa (Penrith Panthers), Patrick Kaufusi (North Queensland Cowboys), Leivaha Pulu (Gold Coast Titans), Siosaia Vave (Parramatta Eels), Samisoni Langi (Penrith Panthers), Sione Vea (Tongan Rugby League).

FIJI | Waqa Blake (Penrith), Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters), Tui Kamikamica (Melbourne Storm), Viliame Kikau (Penrith Panthers), Apisai Koroisau (Manly Sea Eagles), Taane Milne (St George Illawarra Dragons), Marcelo Montoya (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Sitiveni Moceidreke (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Kevin Naiqama (Wests Tigers), Ben Nakubuwai (Sunshine Coast), Tyrone Phillips (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Henry Raiwalui (Manly Sea Eagles), Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights), Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights), Korbin Sims (Brisbane Broncos), James Storer (Illawarra), Akuila Uate (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Eloni Vunakece (Sydney Roosters), Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne Storm).



Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney

3.30pm, Saturday, May 6

TOA SAMOA | Bunty Afoa (Vodafone Warriors), Leeson Ah Mau (St George Illawarra Dragons), John Asiata (North Queensland Cowboys), Fa'amanu Brown (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks), Herman Ese’ese (Brisbane Broncos), Sam Kasiano (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Tim Lafai (St George Illawarra Dragons), Joseph Leilua (Canberra Raiders), Josh McGuire (Brisbane Broncos), Peter Mata’utia (Newcastle Knights), Sione Mata’utia (Newcastle Knights), Suaia Matagi (Parramatta Eels), Ken Maumalo (Vodafone Warriors), Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos), Junior Paulo (Canberra Raiders), Kaysa Pritchard (Parramatta Eels), Sauaso Sue (Wests Tigers), Antonio Winterstein (North Queensland Cowboys).

ENGLAND | Kevin Brown (Warrington Wolves), Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Thomas Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers), James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos), Zak Hardaker (Castleford Tigers), Chris Heighington (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks), Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves), Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Mike McMeeken (Castleford Tigers), Chris McQueen (Gold Coast Titans), Sean O'Loughlin (c) (Wigan Warriors), Mark Percival (St Helens), Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves), Scott Taylor (Hull FC), Alex Walmsley (St Helens), Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra).



Langlands Park, Brisbane

1.40pm, Sunday, May 7

QUEENSLAND RESIDENTS | Jahrome Hughes (Sunshine Coast Falcons); Jonus Pearson (Redcliffe Dolphins), Tom Opacic (Redcliffe Dolphins), Scott Doyle (Souths Logan Magpies), Gideon Gela-Mosby (Northern Pride); Billy Walters (Easts Tigers), Kyle Laybutt (Townsville Blackhawks); Ben Spina (Northern Pride), Mitch Cronin (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Nathaniel Neale (Ipswich Jets); Dean Britt (Easts Tigers), Blake Leary (Townsville Blackhawks), Sam Anderson (Redcliffe Dolphins). Interchange: Christian Hazard (Redcliffe Dolphins), Mitchell Frei (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), George Fai (Souths Logan Magpies), Corey Jensen (Townsville Blackhawks), Joe Boyce (Souths Logan Magpies).

ISP NSW RESIDENTS | Dylan Edwards (Penrith Panthers); Chris Centrone (Wyong Roos), Jordan Drew (Newtown Jets), Matt Allwood (Vodafone Warriors), Bureta Faraimo (Wentworthville Magpies); Jayden Nikorima (Wyong Roos), Mitch Cornish (c) (Wyong Roos); Andy Saunders (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Mitch Rein (Penrith Panthers), Moses Leota (Penrith Panthers); Jack Williams (Newtown Jets), Asipeli Fine (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs); Cheyne Whitelaw (North Sydney Bears). Interchange: Tyrone May (Penrith Panthers), Tautalatasi Tasi (North Sydney Bears), Lindsay Collins (Wyong Roos), Toafofoa Sipley (Vodafone Warriors), Josh King (Newcastle Knights), Nick Meaney (Newcastle Knights)​.



Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium, Mudgee

Sunday, May 7

COUNTRY | Michael Gordon (Sydney Roosters); Anthony Don (Gold Coast Titans), Cheyse Blair (Melbourne Storm), TBC, Brian Kelly (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles); Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Tyrone Roberts (Gold Coast Titans); Dale Finucane (Melbourne Storm), Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Paul Vaughan (St George Illawarra Dragons); Mitch Aubusson (c) (Sydney Roosters), Kyle Turner (South Sydney Rabbitohs); Jack De Belin (St George Illawarra Dragons). Interchange: Connor Watson (Sydney Roosters), Matt Prior (Cronulla Sharks), Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra Dragons), Adam Elliott (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs), Daniel Alvaro (Parramatta Eels).

CITY | Matt Moylan (Penrith Panthers); Clinton Gutherson (Parramatta Eels), Nathan Ross (Newcastle Knights), Tyrone Peachey (Penrith Panthers), Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm); Bryce Cartwright (Penrith Panthers), Chad Townsend (Cronulla Sharks); James Tamou (Penrith Panthers), Cameron McInnes (St George Illawarra Dragons), Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks); Curtis Sironen (Manly Sea Eagles), David Gower (Parramatta Eels); Hame Sele (St George Illawarra Dragons). Interchange: Joseph Paulo (Cronulla Sharks), Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers), Pauli Pauli (Newcastle Knights), Jake Marketo (St George Illawarra Dragons).

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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