28 Sep 2018

Kiwis coach keeping close eye on NRL final

8:24 am on 28 September 2018

The New Zealand coach Michael Maguire will be keeping a close eye on the eight test candidates on show in the NRL grand final - but Roosters centre Joseph Manu will be watched closest of all.

On the back of some compelling form in the finals, Manu has surged into contention for a maiden Test jersey when the Kiwis face Australia next month.

The 22-year-old is one of potentially eight Kiwis hopefuls who Maguire will assess when the Roosters play the Melbourne Storm on Sunday.

Tokoroa-raised Manu has been the in-form New Zealander in the finals, having started all but one game this season.

Kiwis coach Michael Maguire.

Kiwis coach Michael Maguire. Photo: Photosport

Maguire will early next week name his squad with the NRL decider forming a key part of his thinking.

Manu can make a late statement, along with starting Roosters forwards Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Isaac Liu, with all three having been named in Maguire's expanded Kiwis squad last month.

Jesse Bromwich is the only confirmed Storm starter in New Zealand contention but there are four potential Kiwis as interchange options - Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Kenny Bromwich, Brandon Smith and Jahrome Hughes.