9 Oct 2008

One newcomer in Kiwis World Cup squad

8:06 am on 9 October 2008

Melbourne's Wellington-born second rower Sika Manu is the only newcomer in the 24-man Kiwis team named for the Rugby League World Cup starting in Australia on October the 26th.

The 21-year-old joins Storm team-mates Jeff Lima, Jeremy Smith and Adam Blair in the side to be capained by Parramatta's Nathan Cayless.

Coach Stephen Kearney says he has more options than the Kiwis have had for some time in the key positions of fullback, the halves and hooker.

And he says having plenty of players who have been involved in the NRL and the English Super League finals is a real positive.

His squad includes the Manly centre Steve Matai and Leeds fullback Brent Webb, who are both injured, but the selectors had to name the team and they're optimistic both will be fit in time.

Simon Mannering and Lance Hohaia were the only Warriors involved in the May centenary test in Sydney and they have been joined by winger Manu Vatuvei and centre Jerome Ropati - who were both injured in May - plus halfback-hooker Nathan Fien and prop Sam Rapira.

The rest of the squad is: Greg Eastwood, David Fa'alogo, Dene Halatau, Krisnan Inu, David Kidwell, Thomas Leuluai, Isaac Luke, Benji Marshall, Sam Perrett, Setaimata Sa and Iosia Soliola.