Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has continued his remarkable league rise, after being named in the Kiwis' squad to face Australia and the Great Britain Lions.

The Raiders' fullback is one of four debutants selected by Michael Maguire for the upcoming tests in Wollongong (October 25), Auckland (November 2) and Christchurch (November 9).

The squad is also notable for the retention of veterans Benji Marshall and Kieran Foran, though Warriors' playmaker Kodi Nikorima misses out.

Nikorima was superb on the Kiwis' tour of England last year, but has struggled to find his best form since. He's been affected by niggling injuries, and being part of a disappointing season at Mt Smart wouldn't have helped his cause.


Captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was unavailable due to injury, as well as senior prop Jesse Bromwich, centre Esan Marsters and back rower James Fisher-Harris.

But Nicoll-Klokstad is the story. He was released by the Warrriors in February, after being wholly confined to reserve grade last season, but was a breakout star for Canberra in their historic run to the grand final.

While he can cover fullback, along with Jahrome Hughes, Nicoll-Klokstad is likely to be used in the centres, with incumbent Marsters ruled out.

It will be a challenge, but the City Newton junior has more than proved his capabilities and mental strength this year.

Nicoll-Klokstad, who has played three tests for the Cook Islands, played 26 games for the Raiders in 2019, contributing 11 tries and 11 linebreaks.

He also averaged more than 160 running metres per game, and 17 carries a match.
Braden Hamlin-Uele, Corey Harawira-Naera and Zane Tetevano are the other rookies selected.

There is also a return for Jordan Rapana, Jamayne Isaako, Kevin Proctor and Joseph Tapine, after the quartet weren't involved in the clash with Tonga in June.

Tokoroa product Tetevano has a second opportunity to play his first test after being in that squad but not being used in the Kiwis' 34-14 win at Mt Smart.


Canterbury-Bankstown second rower Harawira-Naera was originally selected in last year's Kiwis squad to tour England, only to be ruled out with injury.

He played for the New Zealand Maori Kiwis against the Australian Indigenous All-Stars in January, before making 21 appearances for the Bulldogs.

Glenora Bears junior and former Junior Kiwi Hamlin-Uele earns selection after 21 interchange appearances for the Sharks this year.

Harawira-Naera, Hamlin-Uele and Tetevano are also in the Kiwis' World Cup Nines squad, Tetevano coming into both sides on Thursday after Fisher-Harris' withdrawal.

Overall, 15 of the 19 players in the squad for the Tonga test return.

Three players from the grand final-winning Roosters side are named, centre Joseph Manu, back rower Isaac Liu and prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, along with Tetevano.

In all 11 players in the test squad are also in the Kiwis' World Cup Nines side.

The Nines players assemble in Sydney on Monday with the test squad gathering on Sunday week.

Kiwis Squad: Leeson Ah Mau, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Kenny Bromwich, Kieran Foran, Braden Hamlin-Uele, Corey Harawira-Naera, Jahrome Hughes, Jamayne Isaako, Shaun Johnson, Isaac Liu, Joseph Manu, Benji Marshall, Ken Maumalo, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Briton Nikora, Kevin Proctor, Jordan Rapana, Brandon Smith, Joseph Tapine, Zane Tetevano, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.