Seven lining up for Junior Kiwis
Thursday 11 October 2012 11:22 AM
All seven Vodafone Junior Warriors originally selected will line up for the Junior Kiwis against the Junior Kangaroos at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville on Saturday night.
Co-captain Carlos Tuimavave is in the side for the third consecutive year in what will be his last outing for the Junior Kiwis.
Hooker Siliva Havili backs up after his selection last year and will also be eligible next year while centre Ngataua Hukatai, winger David Fusitua, loose forward David Bhana and bench players Toka Likiliki and Peta Hiku are making their Junior Kiwi debuts.
Fusitua is still only 17 – he turns 18 next Tuesday – and Hukatai, who turned 18 in July, has become a double international in two codes in the space of a year. This time last year the King’s College First XV winger played for the New Zealand Schoolboys in their rugby union international against their Australian counterparts; lining up on the other wing was Otahuhu College’s Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters). Now they’re both set to step out on the international rugby league stage in different positions for the Junior Kiwis, Hukatai named in the centres and Tuivasa-Sheck at fullback.
Apart from Tuimavave and Havili, co-captain Jason Taumalolo, winger Wayne Ulugia and second rower Tohu Harris (Melbourne) return from the side that beat the Junior Kangaroos 28-16 in Newcastle last year. Taumalolo was also in the squad in 2010 and is eligible again in 2013.
Only three of the 2012 Junior Kiwis – Tuimavave, Taumalolo and Tuivasa-Sheck – have NRL experience; the Junior Kangaroos have nine players who have appeared on the NRL scene, including every player in backline. The two forwards with NRL experience are Alex McKinnon and Jack Stockwell.
The teams are:
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters)
2 Wayne Ulugia (North Queensland Cowboys)
3 Curtis Rona (Sydney Roosters)
4 Ngataua Hukatai (Vodafone Warriors)
5 David Fusitua (Vodafone Warriors)
6 Carlos Tuimavave (Vodafone Warriors) co-captain
7 Penani Manumalealii (Cronulla Sharks)
8 Mosese Fotuaika (Wests Tigers)
9 Siliva Havili (Vodafone Warriors)
10 Sauaso (Jesse) Sue (Wests Tigers)
11 Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys) co-captain
12 Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm)
13 David Bhana (Vodafone Warriors)
14 Tupou Sopoaga (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
15 Apirana Pewhairangi (Newcastle Knights)
16 Toka Likiliki (Vodafone Warriors)
17 Peta Hiku (Vodafone Warriors)
18 Jeremy Hawkins (Canberra Raiders)
Coach: John Ackland
1 Lachlan Maranta (Brisbane Broncos)
2 Edrick Lee (Canberra Raiders)
3 Cheyse Blair (Parramatta Eels)
4 Tautau Moga (Sydney Roosters)
5 Mahe Fonua (Melbourne Storm)
6 Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders)
7 Jacob Miller (Wests Tigers)
8 Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters)
9 Michael Lichaa (Cronulla Sharks)
10 Jack Stockwell (St George Illawarra Dragons)
11 Alex McKinnon (Newcastle Knights) captain
12 Korbin Sims (Newcastle Knights)
13 Chris Grevsmuhl (North Queensland Cowboys)
14 Ben Hampton (Melbourne Storm)
15 Dylan Napa (Sydney Roosters)
16 David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
17 Tom Eisenhuth (Penrith Panthers)
18 Mitchell Cornish (Canberra Raiders)
Coach: Kelly Egan