Feki chosen in Kiwi squad
Sharks outside back Sosaia Feki is one of four rookies included in the NZ Kiwis squad to contest the Four Nations tournament over the next six weeks.
Feki, along with teenage Penrith winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, North Queensland second row Jason Taumalolo and Warriors prop Suaia Matagi are the newcomers in a 24-man squad.
"We're really excited for the new players coming in for their first time or, in Jason's case, another chance to earn his first cap," says Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney. "They've all had great seasons in the NRL, and this will be a chance for them to show they can step up and contribute at the next level.
"After our World Cup disappointment last year, I think we made some very positive strides at this year's Anzac Test. We get a few older heads back for this campaign - they will provide some experience, and hopefully will feed off the energy and passion from those younger guys."
"We're very focused on building a team and culture that will see us challenge for the next Rugby League World Cup in 2017, so these new players now have a chance to become part of that long-term process."
In his second season in the top grade Feki enjoyed a breakout season with the Sharks, playing in 20 of their 24 games, scoring a team-high nine tries. He also signed a new contract with the club which will see him remain at the Sharks for at least the next two seasons.
The Kiwis will assemble on the Gold Coast on October 18 and begin their Four Nations campaign against Australia at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on October 25.
The NZ Kiwis squad for the 2014 Four Nations tournament is:
Gerard Beale (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Adam Blair (Wests Tigers)
Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)
Lewis Brown (Penrith Panthers)
Greg Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Sosaia Feki (Cronulla Sharks)
Kieran Foran (Manly Sea Eagles)
Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm)
Siliva Havili (Vodafone Warriors)
Peta Hiku (Manly Sea Eagles)
Shaun Johnson (Vodafone Warriors)
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters)
Thomas Leuluai (Vodafone Warriors)
Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Simon Mannering (Vodafone Warriors)
Suaia Matagi (Vodafone Warriors)
Sam Moa (Sydney Roosters)
Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm)
Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers)
Manu Vatuvei (Vodafone Warriors)
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers)
Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers)
The team was named today at Wellington's Westpac Stadium, during a visit by an Australian Rugby League delegation that included Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens and Dally M Medal winner Jarryd Hayne. The delegation met with Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown and civic officials to discuss preparations for the Four Nations final on November 15.