Junior Kiwis coach Ezra Howe has named a squad including six Vodafone Warriors players for the Trans-Tasman Triple Header clash against the Junior Kangaroos at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday, October 13.
Heading the contingent is 2018 Vodafone Warriors NRL Rookie of the Year Isaiah Papali'i, who made 20 first-grade appearances this year and has also been selected in the senior New Zealand side for the end of season four-Test campaign.
Also selected is fellow back rower Joseph Vuna, who broke into the NRL side this year . The others are Intrust Super Premiership regulars standoff Chanel Tavita-Harris and fullback Hayze Perham plus utility Tom Ale and Paul Turner. Ale played for both the club's ISP and Jersey Flegg Cup sides this year.
Morgan Harper has been named following grand final success with his Canterbury Bulldogs side in the ISP and also the Intrust Super State Championship.
Harris-Tavita, Papali’I, Emry Pere and Steven Marsters return to the Junior Kiwis squad after representing the side in the 2017 Anzac international.
“It’s great to have a lot of experienced players available, many of them having come through the New Zealand Rugby League pathways in New Zealand 16s and 18s teams as well as NRL teams recently,” said Howe, who coached the New Zealand 18s side last year.
“I’m looking forward to working alongside a fantastic management and coaching staff in a campaign which is extra special for these players being on home soil in Aotearoa.
“Creating meaningful pathways for our Kiwi rugby league players is important and I look forward to ongoing involvement with Michael Maguire and Motu Tony in developing our future Kiwis talent.”
The Junior Kiwis will have an opposed training session against the New Zealand Kiwis next Wednesday.
Saturday, October 13
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Junior Kiwis v Junior Kangaroos 3.05pm
Kiwi Ferns v Jillaroos 5.15pm
Kiwis v Kangaroos 7.45pm
North Queensland Cowboys: Emry Pere, Peter Hola, Sean Mullany
Vodafone Warriors: Joe Vuna, Isaiah Papali’i, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Hayze Perham, Tom Ale, Paul Turner
South Sydney Rabbitohs: Lucky Ta’avale, Mawene Hiroti
St George Illawarra Dragons: Steven Marsters
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: Morgan Harper
Melbourne Storm: Kelma Tuilagi, Kayleb Milne
Penrith Panthers: Dean Blore
Canberra Raiders: Paul Roache
Brisbane Broncos: Jordan Riki
Cronulla Sharks: Jackson Ferris