A galaxy of stars boasting almost 600 Test appearances for New Zealand have been named in an all-time Kiwi Warriors side revealed today on the NRL’s traditional ‘Team List Tuesday’ in association with the Alternative Commentary Collective (ACC).
Since the Warriors were introduced to the Australian competition in 1995, an impressive 69 players from the roster of 243 players have represented the Kiwis while with the club.
Another 21 players including foundation captain Dean Bell were Kiwis before or after their time with the Vodafone Warriors.
It says even more about the Vodafone Warriors’ contribution to the Kiwis that 10 of the country’s 14 most experienced Test players are former Warriors, the exceptions being Gary Freeman, Nathan Cayless, Jock Butterfield and Dane O’Hara. Eight of the 10 also captained the Kiwis during their international careers.
Leading the list is Ruben Wiki, who had the world record for most Tests at 55 until he was overtaken by Darren Lockyer. He’s followed by Adam Blair (51), Stacey Jones (46), Stephen Kearney (45), Simon Mannering (45), Issac Luke (43), Thomas Leuluai (40), Nigel Vagana (38), Quentin Pongia (35) and Sean Hoppe (35).
This 17-man Kiwi Warriors squad also boasts eight of the Vodafone Warriors’ 100-game players including the only ones who have topped 200 appearances for the club in Mannering (301), Jones (261), Manu Vatuvei (226) and Ben Matulino (212). All up the players selected have totalled 2147 games for the Vodafone Warriors, an average of 126 games a player.
With a total of 588 Tests for the Kiwis, the squad averages almost 35 internationals a player while four are current players in Vodafone Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Johnson, Issac Luke and Blair.
The squad's combined total of Tests for the Kiwis, NRL games and Super League appearances tops 5200. It is broken down like this:
- Kiwi Tests | 588
- Vodafone Warriors NRL appearances | 2147
- Other NRL appearances | 1397
- Super League appearances | 1119
KIWI WARRIORS 1995-2020
|1||Roger TUIVASA-SHECK||(Vodafone Warrior #203)|
|2||Sean HOPPE||(Vodafone Warrior #3)|
|3||Dean BELL||(Vodafone Warrior #1)|
|4||Nigel VAGANA||(Vodafone Warrior #32)|
|5||Manu VATUVEI||(Vodafone Warrior #115)|
|6||Shaun JOHNSON||(Vodafone Warrior #168)|
|7||Stacey JONES||(Vodafone Warrior #24)|
|8||Quentin PONGIA||(Vodafone Warrior #52)|
|9||Issac LUKE||(Vodafone Warrior #206)|
|10||Ruben WIKI||(Vodafone Warrior #123)|
|11||Stephen KEARNEY||(Vodafone Warrior #11)|
|12||Ali LAUITIITI||(Vodafone Warrior #55)|
|13||Simon MANNERING||(Vodafone Warrior #126)|
|14||Lance HOHAIA||(Vodafone Warrior #99)|
|15||Joe VAGANA||(Vodafone Warrior #18)|
|16||Ben MATULINO||(Vodafone Warrior #142)|
|17||Adam BLAIR||(Vodafone Warrior #223)|