Date: 8/10/15

Veterans Adam Blair and Issac Luke will be entrusted with co-captaincy of the NZ Kiwis, when they tour England over October/November.

The duo have been named by head coach Stephen Kearney to share the role that became vacant when incumbent Simon Mannering was ruled out of the tour for medical reasons earlier this week.

Blair (Kiwi #732) debuted for New Zealand at the 2006 Tri-Nations and scored the final try in the Kiwis’ 2008 World Cup final victory over Australia. He returned to the national side last year after a three-year absence, and was a key contributor to Four Nations success and for his Brisbane Broncos club, en route to this year’s NRL Grand Final.

“I think, in big games, he has delivered for us before,” says Kearney, who works daily with Blair as Brisbane Broncos assistant coach. “He’s been in the programme for quite some time and knows what’s expected – I see it as a natural choice.”

Luke (Kiwi #749) has played 33 tests for New Zealand, two more than Blair, having made his debut in the 2008 Anzac Test and then coming off the bench for the World Cup triumph later that year.

He was a driving force in South Sydney’s 2014 premiership-winning campaign, although he missed the Grand Final through suspension, and then led the Rabbitohs to victory at the 2015 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines.

“Issac is very highly respected within the group and, again, has been part of the programme for a long time,” says Kearney, who is still the youngest to hold the Kiwis captaincy.

“He’s definitely one that’s grown over the course of his Kiwis career, both as a footballer and a leader.”

They will lead a 23-strong group that includes six rookies – utility backs Jordan Kahu and Tuimoala Lolohea, wing Curtis Rona, hooker/half Kodi Nikorima, and forwards Isaac Liu and Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

“There’s nothing we can do about the players that are unavailable,” says Kearney. “They’re all injuries that we have no control over, but they give opportunities to some younger guys, who perhaps only need that opportunity to rise to the next level.”

The England tour itinerary is:
Friday, October 23
v Leeds Rhinos @ Leeds
(8am, Oct 24 NZ)

Sunday, November 1
v England @Hull
(6am, Nov 2 NZ)

Saturday, November 7
v England @ London
(3.30am, Nov 8 NZ)

Saturday, November 14
v England @ Wigan
(2am, Nov 15 NZ)

The NZ Kiwis squad to tour England in October/November is:

Gerard Beale
Cronulla Sharks
Kiwi #767
Debut 2011
Tests 7

Adam Blair
Brisbane Broncos
Kiwi #732
Debut 2006
Tests 31

Jesse Bromwich
Melbourne Storm
Kiwi 775
Debut 2012
Tests 14

Lewis Brown
Penrith Panthers
Kiwi #762
Debut 2011
Tests 8

Alex Glenn
Brisbane Broncos
Kiwi #769
Debut 2011
Tests 10

Tohu Harris
Melbourne Storm
Kiwi #778
Debut 2013
Tests 7

Peta Hiku
Manly Sea Eagles
Kiwi #781
Debut 2014
Tests 6

Jordan Kahu
Brisbane Broncos
New Kiwi
– –
Shaun Kenny-Dowall
Sydney Roosters
Kiwi #746
Debut 2007
Tests 14

Tuimoala Lolohea
NZ Warriors
New Kiwi

Isaac Liu
Sydney Roosters
New Kiwi

Issac Luke
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Kiwi #749
Debut 2008
Tests 33

Ben Matulino
NZ Warriors
Kiwi #756
Debut 2009
Tests 20

Sam Moa
Sydney Roosters
Kiwi #780
Debut 2013
Tests 5

Jason Nightingale
St George Dragons
Kiwi #747
Debut 2008
Tests 25

Kodi Nikorima
Brisbane Broncos
New Kiwi

Kevin Proctor
Melbourne Storm
Kiwi #771
Debut 2012
Tests 8

Curtis Rona
Canterbury Bulldogs
New Kiwi

Sio Siua Taukeiaho
Sydney Roosters
New Kiwi

Jason Taumalolo
North Queensland Cowboys
Kiwi #786
Debut 2014
Tests 4

Martin Taupau
Wests Tigers
Kiwi #785
Debut 2014
Tests 6

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Sydney Roosters
Kiwi #779
Debut 2013
Tests 8

Dean Whare
Penrith Panthers
Kiwi #776
Debut 2012
Tests 12

 

Date: 10/10/15

Young hooker Manaia Cherrington has been brought into the NZ Kiwis side to tour England, replacing NRL premiership winner Jason Taumalolo.

The North Queensland lock has had to withdraw from the team, announced on Thursday, with a knee complaint, after starring in the Cowboys’ dramatic grand final victory last week.

Cherrington (21) was born in Whangarei and is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s fine young talents, having captained the Junior Kiwis to victory over the Junior Kangaroos last year.

He was named in the 2014 National Youth Competition and made his first-grade debut for Wests Tigers in June, eventually making 11 appearances and scoring one try.

Cherrington has been tipped to eventually succeed veteran international and State of Origin hooker Robbie Farrah at Wests.

“Jason has had a wonderful year, but holding him out of this tour will probably benefit him and us long term,” admits Kiwis head coach Stephen Kearney.

“We’re confident we can cover his position from within the current squad and Manaia’s addition will allow Lewis Brown to play more in his preferred second-row role.”

Cherrington’s selection brings the number of rookies on tour to seven.

“We have many talented players coming through our programmes and into the NRL these days. Manaia is just one of those and I think he will be key contributor to Kiwis teams for many years to come,” says Kearney.

The England tour itinerary is:
Friday, October 23 v Leeds Rhinos @ Leeds
(8am, Oct 24 NZ)
Sunday, November 1 v England @Hull
(6am, Nov 2 NZ)
Saturday, November 7 v England @ London
(3.30am, Nov 8 NZ)
Saturday, November 14 v England @ Wigan
(2am, Nov 15 NZ)

The NZ Kiwis squad is:
Gerard Beale, Adam Blair, Jesse Bromwich, Lewis Brown, Manaia Cherrington, Alex Glenn, Tohu Harris, Peta Hiku, Jordan Kahu, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Tuimoala Lolohea, Isaac Liu, Issac Luke, Ben Matulino, Sam Moa, Jason Nightingale, Kodi Nikorima, Kevin Proctor, Curtis Rona, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Martin Taupau, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dean Whare

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