Roosters star among five exciting debutants in Kiwis squad
SYDNEY Roosters premiership-winning centre Joseph Manu is among five debutants named in New Zealand's squad for their end of season Tests against Australia and England.
Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has used the four-Test campaign to usher in a "new era" for the team with Brandon Smith, Jahrome Hughe, Corey Harawira-Naera and Isaiah Papali'i also named.
Experienced players Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor will make their returns to the team following their post-Anzac Day Test scandal last year when they were dumped for snorting cocaine outside a Canberra nightclub.
The likes of Adam Blair, Shaun Johnson, Gerard Beale, Kenny Bromwich and Jordan Rapana also return to the squad after missing the one-off Denver Test in June.
Grand final duo Nelson Asofa-Solomona (ankle) and Zane Tetevano (biceps) were ruled out after picking up injuries in the decider.
The Kiwis' first Test match will be against Mal Meninga's new-look Kangaroos at Mt Smart Stadium on October 13, before they fly to the UK to play a three-match series against England on October 27, November 4 and 10.
"This is a new era for the Kiwis and that's again reflected in the make-up of this squad as it was for the Denver Test," Maguire said.
"A lot of experienced players have moved on in recent years in the shape of Simon Mannering, Thomas Leuluai, Manu Vatuvei, Jason Nightingale, Ben Matulino, Kieran Foran, Russell Packer and others.
"We're also without Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Issac Luke, Tohu Harris and Nelson Asofa-Solomona this time while there have been a number of players who have aligned themselves with Tonga.
"For us it's really exciting bringing in these new players as we strive to take the national side to the place we want it to be. That starts with the Test against the Kangaroos.
"It's a huge opportunity for us and for the sporting public having the world champions in our own back yard. We also have the Kiwi Ferns and the Junior Kiwis taking no Australia at Mount Smart Stadium."
New Zealand Kiwis squad
Leeson Ah Mau (St George Illawarra Dragons), Gerard Beale (NZ Warriors), Adam Blair (NZ Warriors), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Kenneath Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), James Fisher-Harris (Penrith Panthers), Corey Harawira-Naera (Penrith Panthers), Jahrome Hughes (Melbourne Storm), Jamayne Isaako (Brisbane Broncos), Shaun Johnson (NZ Warriors), Issac Liu (Sydney Roosters), Joseph Manu (Sydney Roosters), Esan Marsters (Wests Tigers), Ken Maumalo (NZ Warriors), Kodi Nikorima (Brisbane Broncos), Isaiah Papali'i (NZ Warriors), Kevin Proctor (Gold Coast Titans), Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders), Brandon Smith (Melbourne Storm), Joseph Tapine (Canberra Raiders), Martin Tapau (Manly Sea Eagles), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers).
Kiwi Ferns squad
Raquel Anderson-Pitman, Apii Nicholls, Langi Veainu, Amber Kani, Annetta-Claudia Nuuausala, Aieshaleigh Smalley, Laura Mariu, Onjeurlina Leiataua, Masuisuimatamaalii Tauasa-Pauaraisa (all Warriors), Ngatokotoru Arakua, Karley Te Kawa, Kimiora Nati, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Maitua Feterika, Lavinia Gould, Lilieta Maumau (all Broncos), Honey Hireme, Raecene McGregor (both Dragons), Nita Maynard (Roosters)
Emry Pere, Peter Hola, Sean Mullany (all Cowboys), Joe Vuna, Isaiah Papali'i, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Hayze Perham, Tom Ale, Paul Turner (all Warriors), Lucky Ta'avale, Mawene Hiroti (both Rabbitohs), Steven Marsters (Dragons); Morgan Harper (Bulldogs); Kelma Tuilagi, Kayleb Milne (both Storm), Dean Blore (Panthers); Paul Roache (Raiders) ; Jordan Riki (Broncos); Jackson Ferris (Sharks)