NZ Rugby League

Date: 30/9/14

Rookie Penrith wing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is among the latest additions to the NZ Kiwis train-on squad for the upcoming Four Nations tournament.

Four Panthers and five Sydney Roosters players have been named to the wider group, after their teams were eliminated from the NRL playoffs over the weekend.

Watene-Zelezniak (19) is the great grandson of former Kiwis captain Steve Watene (Kiwi #216) and made his NRL debut against Canberra Raiders in April, scoring two tries. He finished the season with seven tries in 10 first-grade appearances.

Born in Ngaruawahia, he moved to Sydney at a young age and represented New South Wales U18s, but faced with a decision between Australian Schoolboys and Junior Kiwis last year, he chose the latter and declared his allegiance to his country of birth.

Watene-Zelezniak joins Penrith team-mates Sam McKendry, Lewis Brown and Dean Whare in Kiwis contention.

Roosters Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Sam Moa and Isaac Liu bring the squad to 37, with several more due to line up for South Sydney Rabbitohs or Canterbury Bulldogs in Sunday’s NRL grand final.

The squad, so far is:
Gerard Beale (St George Illawarra Dragons), Adam Blair (Wests Tigers), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Kenny Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Fa’amanu Brown (Cronulla Sharks), Lewis Brown (Penrith Panthers), Sosaia Feki (Cronulla Sharks), Kieran Foran (Manly Sea Eagles) David Fusitu’a (Vodafone Warriors), Alex Glenn (Brisbane Broncos), Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm), Siliva Havili (Vodafone Warriors), Peta Hiku (Manly Sea Eagles), Josh Hoffman (Brisbane Broncos), Shaun Johnson (Vodafone Warriors), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters), Ngani Laumape (Vodafone Warriors), Thomas Leuluai (Vodafone Warriors), Isaac Liu (Sydney Roosters), Simon Mannering (Vodafone Warriors), Suaia Matagi (Vodafone Warriors), Ben Matulino (Vodafone Warriors), Matt McIlwrick (Canberra Raiders), Sam McKendry (Penrith Panthers), Sam Moa (Sydney Roosters), Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra Dragons), Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm), Sauaso Sue (Wests Tigers), Brad Takairangi (Gold Coast Titans), Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys), Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers), Bodene Thompson (Wests Tigers), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters), Manu Vatuvei (Vodafone Warriors), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers), Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers)

The Kiwis open their Four Nations campaign against Australia in Brisbane on October 25, followed by fixtures against Toa Samoa (Whangarei, November 1) and England (Dunedin, November 8). The tournament final is scheduled for Wellington on November 15.

Meanwhile, five more players have been named to the Junior Kiwis train-on squad to prepare for their clash with the Junior Kangaroos at Mt Smart Stadium on October 18.

Fabien Goodall, Zach Docker-Clay and Josh Ailoai of the Parramatta Eels, join Addin Fonua-Blake (St George Illawarra Dragons) and Richie Kennar (Easts Tigers/Storm) in the group, which already features:

Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storm), Manaia Cherrington (Wests Tigers), Herman Ese’ese (Canterbury Bulldogs), Dallas Graham (Wests Tigers), Watson Heleta (Wests Tigers), Delouise Hoeter (Wests Tigers), Jahrome Hughes (Gold Coast Titans), Sione Katoa (Penrith Panthers), Danny Levi (Newcastle Knights), Lamar Liolevave (Wests Tigers), Joseph Manu (Sydney Roosters), Sam Manuleleua (South Sydney Roosters), Te Maire Martin (Wests Tigers), Taan Milne (Sydney Roosters), Una Mohi (Melbourne Storm), Chance Peni (Newcastle Knights), Pride Pettersen- Robati (Newcastle Knights), Niua Puaka (Melbourne Storm), Tulsa Saumamao (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Joseph Tapine (Newcastle Knights), James Taylor (Newcastle Knights), Renouf To’omaga (Canterbury Bulldogs), Braden Uele (Sydney Roosters)

Both squads will be named next week, after the NRL and NYC Holden Cup finals.