23 players have been named in the first instalment of NZ Kiwis wider-squad selections for the test against Australia next month and subsequent Four Nations campaign in England.
The group, drawn from clubs that did not make the 2016 NRL playoffs, features eight who have yet to play for the national side – Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake, Warriors utility David Fusitu’a, Warriors centre Solomone Kata, Warriors prop Sam Lisone, Sydney forward Isaac Liu, Wests centre Tim Simona, Parramatta centre Brad Takairangi and Warriors second row Bodene Thompson.
Liu, Takairangi and Thompson have been part of Kiwis squads before, without actually taking the field.
The wider squad currently consists of 36 players and will be named in instalments as their teams drop out of NRL premiership contention over coming weeks. The size of that squad will also fluctuate, depending on injuries and other unavailabilities that arise.
Several Kiwis regulars are already ruled out through injury and other factors, including Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Peta Hiku, Dean Whare, Kieran Foran and Kodi Nikorima.
A final travelling squad of 24 will be named during the week after the NRL Grand Final on October 2.
The first group of Kiwis train-on players named is:
Lewis Brown – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Addin Fonua – Blake Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
David Fusitu’a – NZ Warriors
Shaun Johnson – NZ Warriors
Solomone Kata – NZ Warriors
Shaun Kenny-Dowall – Sydney Roosters
Thomas Leuluai – NZ Warriors
Sam Lisone – NZ Warriors
Isaac Liu – Sydney Roosters
Tuimoala Lolohea – NZ Warriors
Issac Luke – NZ Warriors
Simon Mannering – NZ Warriors
Ben Matulino – NZ Warriors
Manu Ma’u – Parramatta Eels
Sam Moa – Sydney Roosters
Jason Nightingale – St George Illawarra Dragons
Tim Simona – Wests Tigers
Brad Takairangi – Parramatta Eels
Martin Taupau – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Elijah Taylor – Wests Tigers
Bodene Thompson – NZ Warriors
Manu Vatuvei – NZ Warriors
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves – Sydney Roosters