Flying Sharks winger Sosaia Feki and young gun Fa’amanu Brown have been named as two of 11 potential debutants in the New Zealand Kiwis train-on squad for next month’s Four Nations tournament in New Zealand and Australia.
Coach Stephen Kearney has released the names of 21 players whose clubs have missed the NRL playoffs, with further names to be added as teams are eliminated from the finals race.
The wider squad will consist of about 40 players and the Four Nations roster will be named the week after the NRL Grand Final on October 5.
The only players so far missing from the Kiwis’ most recent outing – the Anzac Test against Australia in May – are Warriors utility Ben Henry, who has elected to have off-season knee surgery, and five-eighth Isaac John, after tearing an Achilles tendon in May.
Another Sharks youngster in Valentine Holmes has also been chosen by Kearney but will have to make a decision as to his country of choice. Born in Townsville in Queensland, Holmes has New Zealand heritage that qualifies him for the Kiwis.
He was also selected yesterday as a member of the Junior Kangaroos Train-on squad.
The Four Nations kicks off on October 25, with an England v Samoa and a NZ v Australia doubleheader scheduled for Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
The NZ Four Nations train-on squad is:
Fa’amanu Brown (Cronulla Sharks), Sosaia Feki (Cronulla Sharks), Valentine Holmes (Cronulla Sharks), Gerard Beale (St George Dragons), Adam Blair (Wests Tigers), David Fusitua (Vodafone Warriors), Siliva Havili (Vodafone Warriors), Konrad Hurrell (Vodafone Warriors), Shaun Johnson (Vodafone Warriors), Ngani Laumape (Vodafone Warriors), Thomas Leuluai (Vodafone Warriors), Simon Mannering (Vodafone Warriors), Suaia Matagi (Vodafone Warriors), Ben Matulino (Vodafone Warriors), Matt McIlrick (Canberra Raiders), Jason Nightingale (St George Dragons), Sauaso Sue (Wests Tigers), Brad Takairangi (Wests Tigers), Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers), Bodene Thompson (Wests Tigers), Manu Vatuvei (Vodafone Warriors)
Meanwhile, seven players have been named for the initial Junior Kiwis train-on squad. They are:
Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storme), Herman Ese’ese (CanterburyBulldogs), Jerome Hughes (Gold Coast Titans), Sione Katoa (Penrith Panthers), Una Mohi (Melbourne Storm), Niua Puaka (Melbourne Storm), Renouf To’omaga (Canterbury Bulldogs)