Seven Vodafone Warriors in Kiwi train-on squad
Wednesday 5 September 2012 10:04 AM
Seven Vodafone Warriors have been included among the first group of 12 players named in the Kiwi train-on squad to prepare for the one-off Test against the Kangaroos at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville on Saturday, October 13.
While five of them have all played for New Zealand before, two of them – NRL rookie Ben Henry and hooker Alehana Mara – are potential Test debutants.
Henry featured in all 24 games (mainly in the centres) and scored eight tries while Mara was used six times in an injury-disrupted season and has played a total of 16 NRL games.
Also named from the Vodafone Warriors are winger Manu Vatuvei, halfback Shaun Johnson, back rowers Simon Mannering and Elijah Taylor and prop Ben Matulino. Fullback Kevin Locke was unavailable due to injury (ankle).
Long-serving Kiwi winger Jason Nightingale (knee surgery) is out of contention and his St George Illawarra team-mate and former Vodafone Warrior Nathan Fien has retired from international rugby league.
KIWI TRAIN-ON SQUAD
Penrith Panthers: Sam McKendry
Sydney Roosters: Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Vodafone Warriors: Ben Henry, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering, Alehana Mara, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Manu Vatuvei
Wests Tigers: Adam Blair, Benji Marshall
Unavailable: St George Illawarra Dragons: Nathan Fien (retired from international rugby league following April’s Test), Jason Nightingale (undergoing knee surgery); Vodafone Warriors: Kevin Locke (injury – high ankle sprain).