Seven players from the NRL grand final feature in the 19-man Kiwis squad named today to play the Kangaroos on October 13 in Townsville.
Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor have both been picked from the victorious Melbourne Storm and the Canterbury Bulldogs contribute Greg Eastwood, Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Krisnan Inu and Sam Perrett.
Kasiano confirmed after the grand final he would play for the Kiwis and he is one of two newcomers to the squad. They other is Manly centre Dean Whare.
Kasiano was recently named the NRL's Prop of the Year and is an Otahuhu Leopards junior. Whare, who was born in Rotorua, is a former Junior Kiwi who can play centre, wing or fullback. The only other uncapped member of the squad is Proctor, who toured with the Kiwis to the UK in 2011 but didn't take the field.
There's no room, however, for Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei, who was in the train-on squad, and former Kiwis vice-captain Adam Blair also paid the price for an indifferent season with the Wests Tigers. Others to miss out include Jason Taumalolo and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney and the selectors have retained the three players who made their national debuts in April - Bromwich, Josh Hoffman and Shaun Johnson - and there have been recalls for Eastwood, Inu, Perrett, Proctor and Elijah Taylor. Manly's Kieran Foran returns after missing April's Anzac test through injury.
New Zealand squad to play Australia in Townsville on October 13: Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers - c), Gerard Beale (Brisbane), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne), Greg Eastwood (Bulldogs), Kieran Foran (Manly), Josh Hoffman (Brisbane), Krisnan Inu (Bulldogs), Shaun Johnson (Warriors), Sam Kasiano (Bulldogs), Issac Luke (South Sydney), Simon Mannering (Warriors), Ben Matulino (Warriors), Sam McKendry (Penrith), Sam Perrett (Bulldogs), Frank Pritchard (Bulldogs), Kevin Proctor (Melbourne), Jeremy Smith (Cronulla), Elijah Taylor (Warriors), Dean Whare (Manly).