3 Oct 2012

Kasiano picks New Zealand over Origin

6:14 am on 3 October 2012

The Canterbury Bulldogs Sam Kasiano has bucked a recent trend by choosing to represent New Zealand over playing State of Origin rugby league.

Kasiano was on Tuesday named in the Kiwis 19-strong squad to play Australia in Townsville on Saturday week, calming New Zealand nerves that the NRL's prop of the year might turn his back on his country in favour of chasing a Queensland berth and a potential $50,000 an Origin game paycheque.

The New Zealand-born Canberra forward Josh Papalii chose the lure of Origin just last week and while the New Zealand manager Tony Kemp is delighted the Kiwis have secured the services of Kasiano he says the issue of eligibility is far from over.

Kasiano and the Manly outside back Dean Whare are the two newcomers to the Kiwis squad with seven players coming from the NRL champion Storm and the beaten grand finalist Bulldogs.