NZ to name Four Nations team next week

New Zealand Rugby League will next week name a 23-man Kiwi team for next month's 2010 Four Nations.

NZRL chairman Scott Carter and Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney will make the team announcement jointly at the New Zealand Rugby League Museum on Tuesday (Oct 5).

The players selected will assemble in Auckland on October 10 to prepare for a one-off Test against Samoa at Mount Smart Stadium on October 16. The curtain-raiser to the match will be an encounter between New Zealand Maori and England.

The Kiwis then move to Wellington where they will start their Four Nations campaign against England at Westpac Stadium on October 23 followed by Papua New Guinea at Rotorua’s International Stadium on October 30.

A doubleheader will be played at Eden Park in Auckland on November 6 when the Kiwis face the Kangaroos following the curtain-raiser between England and Papua New Guinea. The Four Nations final will be played between the competition’s top two teams at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on November 13.

Meanwhile, members of the Kiwi train-on squad not involved in the later stages of the NRL finals have been attending training sessions since last weekend.

A group of Vodafone Warriors players trained at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland again this morning under the eye of Kiwi trainers Dayne Norton and Ruben Wiki. Simon Mannering, Lance Hohaia, Manu Vatuvei, Kevin Locke, Russell Packer, Ben Matulino and Lewis Brown were joined by club-mate Bill Tupou, who is in the Junior Kiwis’ train-on squad.

Not involved in the session was prop Sam Rapira, who has now withdrawn from the train-on squad, making himself unavailable for the Four Nations for family reasons.

Centre Jerome Ropati didn’t train as he received treatment for the shoulder injury that forced him out of Vodafone Warriors’ week one NRL finals clash against Gold Coast on September 10.

Also missing was hooker Aaron Heremaia. He is in Sydney fulfilling a range of promotional appearances for the NRL in the lead-up to grand final day at ANZ Stadium when the Vodafone Junior Warriors will take on South Sydney in the National Youth Competition decider and St George Illawarra will face the Sydney Roosters in the NRL grand final.

In all eight players in the Kiwi train-on squad are set to play in the NRL grand final. The Dragons have Jason Nightingale on the right wing, Jeremy Smith at loose forward and utility Nathan Fien on the bench. The Roosters have named Sam Perrett and Joseph Leilua on the wings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall in the centres, Frank-Paul Nuuausala at prop and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves on the interchange bench.

Tickets for the Four Nations games in New Zealand and Australia are on sale now (go to www.nzrl.co.nz for more information). Tickets for the Test against Samoa are also on sale.

2010 KIWIS – TRAIN-ON SQUAD

Brisbane Broncos: Alex Glenn, Antonio Winterstein
Canterbury-Bankstown: Bryson Goodwin, Ben Roberts
Canberra Raiders: Bronson Harrison
Leeds Rhinos: Greg Eastwood
Melbourne Storm: Adam Blair, Sika Manu
Newcastle Knights: Junior Sa’u, Zeb Taia
Parramatta Eels: Krisnan Inu, Fuifui Moimoi
Penrith Panthers: Sam McKendry, Frank Pritchard
St George Illawarra Dragons: Nathan Fien, Jason Nightingale, Jeremy Smith
South Sydney Rabbitohs: Roy Asotasi, Issac Luke, Eddy Pettybourne, Fetuli Talanoa
Sydney Roosters: Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Joseph Leilua, Mose Masoe, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sam Perrett, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Warriors: Lewis Brown, Aaron Heremaia, Lance Hohaia, Kevin Locke, Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei
Wests Tigers: Benji Marshall
Wigan Warriors: Thomas Leuluai