7 Oct 2021

Kiwis squad named a year out from World Cup

4:48 pm on 7 October 2021

NRL premiership-winning Penrith Panthers player and top prop James Fisher-Harris headlines the Kiwis' Rugby League World Cup wider squad announced on Thursday - a year out from the rescheduled showpiece event.

James Fisher-Harris of the Panthers

James Fisher-Harris of the Penrith Panthers joins Kiwis' wider World Cup squad. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 38-man squad will work towards a June Pacific Test and Trans-Tasman clash, before the October 2022 World Cup campaign.

The NRL's Backrower of the Year and Eels' golden buy, Isaiah Papali'i makes the cut alongside fellow Parramatta playmakers Dylan Brown and Marata Niukore.

Melbourne Storm's Brandon Smith is also named in the squad.

Smith has been fined $15,000 and suspended for one NRL game after he featured in videos, which emerged last month of him partying in a Queensland hotel with what appears to be a white substance.

Other Kiwi Storm talent included Reimis Smith who locked in his selection with 14 tries this year and standout half Jahrome Hughes, who was instrumental in a well-oiled Melbourne side that ran rampant throughout 2021.

Star Rooster's centre Joey Manu is included after one of his best seasons in the NRL which included 12 line breaks, 10 tries and 141 metres per game.

Manu is joined by veteran Kiwi prop and Roosters teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves who made 1280 post-contact metres in 23 appearances for 2021.

Corey Harawira-Naera returns after a dominant performance in his first full season at Canberra, and departing Shark Shaun Johnson is joined by Cronulla teammates Ronaldo Mulitalo, Braden Hamlin-Uele and Briton Nikora.

Newcomers include Bronco's back-rower and former Junior Kiwis captain Jordan Riki, who enters the squad after a solid debut season.

Titan's Hooker and former Manurewa Marlin Erin Clark gets the call up alongside dynamic youngster Josh Schuster and Waikato born Morgan Harper after a breakthrough seasons with Manly.

The World Cup was originally scheduled to take place this month in England, before New Zealand and Australia expressed saftey concerns in the Covid-19 environment and withdrew from the tournament.

Kiwis head coach Michael Maguire said international football had been a challenge over the past two years.

"But the player's enthusiasm to represent their country is as strong as ever; there's no question as to how much this jersey means to them, and their eagerness to play has never wavered.

"The senior players set a strong foundation and have their eyes focused on the 2022 World Cup."

The 2021 season saw many Kiwi eligible players stamp their mark on the NRL, encouraging selectors to name an additional list of players that Maguire deemed "the future of the Kiwis team."

"With the football that our younger players have played, we have created a list of players that, with a little more experience, could be the future of this team.

"I am sure we will unearth some new Kiwi talent in the next 12 months, and we may even uncover more current names not listed. Nevertheless, this depth is encouraging."


NO NAME (In Alphabetical Order By Surname)

1 Josh Aloiai - Manly Sea Eagles

2 Nelson Asofa-Solomona - Melbourne Storm

3 Jesse Bromwich - Melbourne Storm

4 Kenny Bromwich - Melbourne Storm

5 Dylan Brown - Parramatta Eels

6 Erin Clark - Gold Coast Titans

7 James Fisher-Harris - Penrith Panthers

8 Kieran Foran - Manly Sea Eagles

9 Braden Hamlin-Uele - Cronulla Sharks

10 Corey Harawira-Naera - Canberra Raiders

11 Morgan Harper - Manly Sea Eagles

12 Tohu Harris - Warriors

13 Chanel Harris-Tavita - Warriors

14 Peta Hiku - Warriors

15 Jahrome Hughes - Melbourne Storm

16 Jamayne Isaako - Brisbane Broncos

17 Shaun Johnson - Cronulla Sharks

18 Isaac Liu - Sydney Roosters

19 Joseph Manu - Sydney Roosters

20 Jeremy Marshall-King - Canterbury Bulldogs

21 Ken Maumalo - Wests Tigers

22 Ronaldo Mulitalo - Cronulla Sharks

23 Charnze Nicoll-Klolstad - Canberra Raiders

24 Briton Nikora- Cronulla Sharks

25 Kodi Nikorima- Warriors

26 Marata Niukore - Parramatta Eels

27 Isaiah Paplii - Parramatta Eels

28 Kevin Proctor - Gold Coast Titans

29 Jordan Rapana - Canberra Raiders

30 Jordan Riki - Brisbane Broncos

31 Joshua Schuster - Manly Sea Eagles

32 Bailey Simonsson - Canberra Raiders

33 Brandon Smith - Melbourne Storm

34 Reimis Smith - Melbourne Storm

35 Joseph Tapine - Canberra Raiders

36 Jazz Tevaga - Warriors

37 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves - Sydney Roosters

38 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak - Warriors