Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney has added a trio of newcomers to his train-on squad for their tour of England later this year.
Sydney Roosters’ hooker Matt McIlwrick, second-rower Sio Siua Taukeiaho and lock Isaac Liu are among nine players added to the extended group on Thursday after their teams were knocked out of the NRL playoffs last week.
The Roosters trio are joined by clubmates Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Sam Moa, along with Melbourne Storm players Jesse Bromwich, Tohu Harris and Kevin Proctor.
The Kiwis will be without both their first-choice halves after Kieran Foran was ruled out on Thursday with an elbow injury which has dogged him throughout the year.
Following his final NRL season with Manly, Foran underwent scans with medical staff at his new club Parramatta, where it was confirmed the 25-year-old had suffered ligament damage.
Foran joins a growing list of injured players which includes Warriors halfback and match-winner Shaun Johnson, who broke his ankle two months ago.
This week’s additions bring the number of Kiwis candidates to 31, with several more involved in Sunday’s NRL grand final between Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys.
The touring squad of 23 players for three Tests against England in early November, will be named next Thursday:
KIWIS WIDER SQUAD:
Gerard Beale (Cronulla Sharks), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Lewis Brown (Penrith Panthers), Manaia Cherrington (Wests Tigers), Greg Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs), Sosaia Feki (Cronulla Sharks), Bryson Goodwin (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm), Peta Hiku (Manly Sea Eagles), Solomone Kata (Warriors), Shaun Kenny-Dowell (Sydney Roosters), Isaac Liu (Sydney Roosters), Tuimoala Lolohea (Warriors), Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Simon Mannering (Warriors), Te Maire Martin (Wests Tigers), Ben Matulino (Warriors), Manu Ma’u (Parramatta Eels), Sam McKendry (Penrith Panthers), Matt McIlwrick (Sydney Roosters), Sam Moa (Sydney Roosters), Jason Nightingale (St George Dragons), Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm), Curtis Rona (Canterbury Bulldogs), Tim Simona (Wests Tigers), Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters), Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers), Elijah Taylor (Penrith Panthers), Bodene Thompson (Warriors), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters), Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers).