Marshall takes step towards Kiwi return

Benji Marshall has been named in an extended Kiwis squad that will take on Tonga a week on Saturday at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Wests Tigers halfback hasn’t featured internationally for seven years and has been named alongside potential debutants Briton Nikora (Sharks) and Jahrome Hughes (Storm).

There are three other playmakers in the squad with Kieran Foran, Kodi Nikorima and Shaun Johnson all named so Marshall may not feature when the 17 is announced.

“We’re really pleased with the quality and form of the players we’ve been able to select,” Maguire.

“Nearly all of them have come through the Test we had against England in Denver last year and the matches against Australia and England later in the year. As a group, we made a lot of progress and now it’s all about building on that.

“This Test against Tonga at Mount Smart is going to be a huge occasion and we can’t wait to be part of it.

“It kicks off what is a tremendous year for the international game with the introduction of the Oceania Cup competition, the Downer Rugby League World Cup Nines and our series against the Great Britain Rugby League Lions.”

New Zealand Kiwis squad
Leeson Ah Mau (Warriors)
Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm)
Jesse Bromwich (Storm)
Kenny Bromwich (Storm)
James Fisher-Harris (Panthers)
Kieran Foran (Bulldogs)
Jahrome Hughes (Storm)
Jamayne Isaako (Broncos)
Shaun Johnson (Sharks)
Isaac Liu (Roosters)
Issac Luke (Warriors)
Joseph Manu (Roosters)
Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers)
Esan Marsters (Wests Tigers)
Ken Maumalo (Warriors)
Briton Nikora (Sharks)
Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)
Agnatius Paasi (Warriors)
Isaiah Papali’i (Warriors)
Jordan Rapana (Raiders)
Brandon Smith (Storm)
Joseph Tapine (Raiders)
Martin Taupau (Sea Eagles)
Zane Tetevano (Roosters)
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors)
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters)
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Bulldogs)