Teen five-eighth in Kiwis train-on squad

Junior Kiwis five-eighth Te Maire Martin is among five players added to the Kiwis train-on squad ahead of their tour of England.

The 19-year-old was a member of the national age group team that lost narrowly to the Junior Kangaroos in May and will switch to the Penrith Panthers next year.

Coach Stephen Kearney last week ruled veteran playmaker Benji Marshall out of the tour, saying he wants to build some depth in the halves.

Also included in the now 23-man squad are two players each from the Canterbury Bulldogs and Cronulla Sharks, who were both eliminated from the NRL finals last weekend.

Established Bulldogs forward Greg Eastwood is joined by uncapped clubmate Curtis Rona, who enjoyed a prolific breakthrough season on the wing with 23 tries, one short of competition-leading Eels flyer Semi Radradra.

Waitara-born Rona is a strong chance for final selection given the unavailability of injured candidates Manu Vatuvei and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Former Tongan international Sosaia Feki is also included, along with Sharks teammate Gerard Beale.

A 23-strong touring squad to play three Tests in England in November will be announced after the NRL grand final on October 4.

KIWIS WIDER SQUAD:

Gerard Beale (Cronulla Sharks), Lewis Brown (Penrith Panthers), Manaia Cherrington (Wests Tigers), Greg Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs), Sosaia Feki (Cronulla Sharks), Kieran Foran (Manly Sea Eagles), Bryson Goodwin (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Peta Hiku (Manly Sea Eagles), Solomone Kata (NZ Warriors), Tuimoala Lolohea (NZ Warriors), Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Simon Mannering (NZ Warriors), Te Maire Martin (Wests Tigers), Ben Matulino (NZ Warriors), Manu Ma’u (Parramatta Eels), Sam McKendry (Penrith Panthers), Jason Nightingale (St George Dragons), Curtis Rona (Canterbury Bulldogs), Tim Simona (Wests Tigers), Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers), Elijah Taylor (Penrith Panthers), Bodene Thompson (NZ Warriors), Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers)

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