Kick-off 8pm AEST, GIO Stadium Canberra. Game televised live on Channel 9.
The return of experienced trio Simon Mannering, Kieran Foran and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a highlight for Kiwis Coach David Kidwell as he today announced his squad to face the Kangaroos in Friday’s ANZAC Test in Canberra.
Mannering, a former Kiwis captain, and New Zealand Warriors teammate Tuivasa-Sheck missed all representative matches last year due to injury while Foran was unavailable for selection. ‘’First of all, all three of them bring a lot of Mana to our group and that’s hugely important,’’ Kidwell said of the trio.
“Simon’s experience in any squad is invaluable, he’s been a leader in our side for a long time, so it’s fantastic to have him fit and ready. Kieran’s been playing some good footy this year and his combination with Shaun Johnson and Roger at the back is certainly benefiting from the more time they all spend together too,’’ Kidwell continued.
Aside from naming two debutants, Melbourne Storms Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Brandon Smith, the other talking point is the inclusion of St George Illawarra Dragon Prop Russell Packer, who hasn’t played in the black jumper since 2011. “Russell’s form speaks for itself,’ said Kidwell, ‘‘he was pretty delighted to get a call from me, like anyone in life they have their ups and downs, and Russell’s been putting the hard yards in, and we just want him to do the same for the Kiwis.’’
Note Manu Ma’u was unavailable for selection due to injury.
NAME CLUB TESTS
NELSON ASOFA-SOLOMONA Melbourne Storm *
ADAM BLAIR Brisbane Broncos 40
JESSE BROMWICH (Captain) Melbourne Storm 23
KENNY BROMWICH Melbourne Storm 1
KIERAN FORAN Vodafone Warriors 20
DAVID FUSITU’A Vodafone Warriors 2
SHAUN JOHNSON Vodafone Warriors 20
JORDAN KAHU Brisbane Broncos 8
ISSAC LUKE Vodafone Warriors 41
SIMON MANNERING Vodafone Warriors 41
KODI NIKORIMA Brisbane Broncos 4
RUSSELL PACKER St George Illawarra Dragons 2
KEVIN PROCTOR Gold Coast Titans 16
JORDAN RAPANA Canberra Raiders 4
BRANDON SMITH Melbourne Storm *
JASON TAUMALOLO North Queensland Cowboys 9
MARTIN TAUPAU Manly Sea Eagles 15
ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK Vodafone Warriors 11
DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK Penrith Panthers 2
DEAN WHARE Penrith Panthers 15