League: Tuimavave continues family tradition


Prop Evarn Tuimavave will follow in the steps of two of his uncles when New Zealand clash with England in their final rugby league World Cup pool game at Newcastle on Saturday.

The 24-year-old New Zealand Warrior was today named by coach Stephen Kearney to make his debut in a side that includes five changes from the combination who crushed Papua New Guinea 48-6 on the Gold Coast last Saturday.

Not since 1995 has a Tuimavave worn the Kiwi jersey.

On that occasion Tony Tuimavave, a 77-game Warrior from 1995-2000, played his only test for New Zealand against Australia.

Before that, Paddy Tuimavave made two test appearances against Papua New Guinea in 1990.

Evarn Tuimavave, who has played 99 National Rugby League matches, was close to earning his international debut when he was named in a 19-man squad to prepare for the 2007 Anzac test in Brisbane.

However, he didn't make the final 17 then but now he becomes Kiwi No 751.

"It's great to be able to give Evarn his chance now," Kearney said.

"The Tuimavave family has made a big impact in rugby league in New Zealand and this is reward for the way Evarn has kept working ever since we came into camp."

Tuimavave replaces captain Nathan Cayless, who is being rested, while Kearney has made another change in the pack, with South Sydney's David Fa'alogo partnering Simon Mannering.

Also being given a break is winger Sam Perrett after scoring a double at Skilled Park. His place is taken by Jason Nightingale, who bagged a double in the one-off test against Tonga in Auckland on October 18.

And returning in the centres after a one-match suspension is Manly's Steve Matai, in for Parramatta's Krisnan Inu.

With Fa'alogo moving into the starting line-up and Warriors prop Sam Rapira being given a break, there are also two changes on the bench.

Veteran South Sydney forward David Kidwell is eyeing his 25th test while Wests Tigers forward Bronson Harrison is set to play only his second test and his first since his debut against France in 2005.

With Cayless not playing, Melbourne loose forward Jeremy Smith will captain the Kiwis for the second time.

Kiwis
Lance Hohaia, Jason Nightigale, Steve Matai, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, Benji Marshall, Thomas Leuluai, Adam Blair, Nathan Fien, Evarn Tuimavave, Simon Mannering, David Fa'alogo, Jeremy Smith (captain).

Interchange: Issac Luke, Greg Eastwood, Bronson Harrison, David Kidwell.

- NZPA

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