Braden Hamlin-Uele, Corey Harawira-Naera, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Zane Tetevano are in line to make their debuts in the New Zealand Kiwis’ coming Tests against the Kangaroos and the Great Britain Lions.
The four players have all been named tonight in a squad which also features returns for winger Jamayne Isaako and back rowers Kevin Proctor and Joseph Tapine who weren’t involved in the June Test victory over Mate Ma’a Tonga at Mount Smart Stadium.
Tokoroa product Tetevano now has a third opportunity to play his first Test.
He was selected but then ruled out of last year’s end-of-season programme with injury and was then in the 19-man squad but didn’t make the playing 17 when the Kiwis beat Mate Ma’a Tonga 34-14 in June.
A premiership winner with the Sydney Roosters last year, the 28-year-old was a regular again throughout this season totalling 23 appearances but suffered further disappointment when, after being named for the grand final against Canberra, he was ultimately omitted.
Northland-raised Canterbury-Bankstown second rower Harawira-Naera has earned a second chance of making his Test debut. Like Tetevano, he was originally selected in last year’s squad for the home Test against Australia and the following three-match series in England only to be ruled out with injury.
He played for the New Zealand Māori Kiwis in the match against the Australian Indigenous All-Stars in Melbourne in January and went on to make 21 appearances in his first season with the Bulldogs.
After previously representing the Cook Islands at Test level, Nicoll-Klokstad comes into the Kiwi squad for the first time after a superb season for beaten grand finalists the Canberra Raiders. He scored 11 tries in 26 appearances.
Glenora Bears junior and former Junior Kiwi Hamlin-Uele earns selection after impressing in 21 interchange appearances for the Sharks this year.
Harawira-Naera, Hamlin-Uele, Nicoll-Klokstad and Tetevano are also in the Kiwis’ World Cup Nines squad, Tetevano coming into both sides today after James Fisher-Harris was forced to withdraw with injury and Nicoll-Klokstad being called in to replace Jordan Rapana. Rapana was originally chosen in both sides but has now been ruled out; his replacement in the Test squad is yet to be named.
Of the 19 players in the squad for the Tonga Test in June, 15 return for the internationals against the Kangaroos and the Lions. Four of the playing 17 are unavailable due to injury – captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, prop Jesse Bromwich, centre Esan Marsters and back rower Fisher-Harris.
Three players from the premiership-winning Roosters side are named – centre Joseph Manu, back rower Isaac Liu and prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves – along with Tetevano while the beaten Raiders provide Nicoll-Klokstad and Tapine.
In all 11 players in the Test squad are also in the Kiwis’ World Cup Nines side.
The Nines players assemble in Sydney on Monday with the Test squad gathering on Sunday week.
The Kiwis begin their Test campaign with their Oceania Cup clash against the Kangaroos in Wollongong on Friday, October 25 before flying to New Zealand for two Tests against the reformed GB Rugby League Lions (Great Britain).
The first of these will be the second match of an international tripleheader at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday, November 2, which also features the Kangaroos facing Tonga Invitational and Toa Samoa taking on Fiji Bati in Oceania Cup matches.
The Kiwis then move to Christchurch for the second Test at Orangetheory Stadium (formerly AMI Stadium) on Saturday, November 9.
Buy tickets HERE for the Kiwis’ Tests against the GB Rugby League Lions
NEW ZEALAND KIWIS | v KANGAROOS & GB RUGBY LEAGUE LIONS
Friday, October 25 | 7.30pm | v Australia, WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Saturday, November 2 | 5.00pm | v Great Britain, Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday, November 9 | 8.00pm | v Great Britain, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch
NEW ZEALAND KIWIS | SQUAD
LEESON AH MAU (Vodafone Warriors) #812, 6 Tests
NELSON ASOFA-SOLOMONA (Melbourne Storm) #804, 6 Tests
KENNEATH BROMWICH (Melbourne Storm) #796, 8 Tests
KIERAN FORAN (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) #757, 21 Tests
BRADEN HAMLIN-UELE (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) yet to debut
COREY HARAWIRA-NAERA (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) yet to debut
JAHROME HUGHES (Melbourne Storm) #819, 1 Test
JAMAYNE ISAAKO (Brisbane Broncos) #808, 2 Tests
SHAUN JOHNSON (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) #774, 30 Tests
ISAAC LIU (Sydney Roosters) #805, 8 Tests
JOSEPH MANU (Sydney Roosters) #815, 5 Tests
BENJI MARSHALL (Wests Tigers) #717, 28 Tests
KEN MAUMALO (Vodafone Warriors) #810, 6 Tests
CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD (Canberra Raiders) yet to debut
BRITON NIKORA (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) #818, 1 Test
KEVIN PROCTOR (Gold Coast Titans) #771, 21 Tests
BRANDON SMITH (Melbourne Storm) #816, 5 Tests
JOSEPH TAPINE (Canberra Raiders) #800, 10 Tests
ZANE TETEVANO (Sydney Roosters) yet to debut
ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (Vodafone Warriors) #779, 17 Tests
JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES (Sydney Roosters) #755, 29 Tests