Debutants in Kiwi and Kiwi Ferns teams for Mate Ma'a Tonga tests

The Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns have both included four debutants in their respective teams for Saturday's rugby league double header against Mate Ma'a Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium.

Parramatta duo Dylan Brown and Marata Niukore plus Cronulla Sutherland winger Ronaldo Mulitalo and Penrith prop Moses Leota will all play their first Test for the Kiwis.

Brown is paired in the halves with Melbourne halfback Jahrome Hughes, Mulitalo is on the wing, Niukore is in the centres with the experienced Peta Hiku and Leota is on a potent bench.

In other selection features head coach Michael Maguire has selected the versatile Joseph Manu at fullback while in-form Parramatta second rower Isaiah Papali'i, who made his debut off the bench for the Kiwis in England 2018, is a starter in his second Test more than three and half years later.

Newly-appointed captain Jesse Bromwich is the team's most experienced player as he eyes his 30th Test match while Foran will play his 23rd since his debut in 2009.

Meanwhile in the Kiwi Ferns, Amy Turner (Broncos) and Page McGregor (Dragons) will debut in the centres, while Bronco powerhouse Roxy Murdoch gets her call up to the Ferns' second-row.

Laishon Albert-Jones will debut in the halves alongside Kiwi Fern veteran and Roosters Premiership winner Raecene McGregor.

Manurewa Marlin junior Krystal Rota earns her second Test captaincy for the Kiwi Ferns, while Titan's lock Georgia Hale joins Raecene as vice-captain forming a strong leadership spine for the relatively young team.

Kiwis team:

1 JOSEPH MANU Sydney Roosters

2 RONALDO MULITALO Cronulla Sutherland Sharks

3 MARATA NIUKORE Parramatta Eels

4 PETA HIKU North Queensland Cowboys

5 JORDAN RAPANA Canberra Raiders

6 DYLAN BROWN Parramatta Eels -

7 JAHROME HUGHES Melbourne Storm

8 JESSE BROMWICH (c) Melbourne Storm

9 BRANDON SMITH Melbourne Storm

10 JAMES FISHER-HARRIS Penrith Panthers

11 ISAIAH PAPALI'I Parramatta Eels

12 KENNY BROMWICH Melbourne Storm

13 JOSEPH TAPINE Canberra Raiders

14 KIERAN FORAN Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

15 MOSES LEOTA Penrith Panthers -


17 BRITON NIKORA Cronulla Sutherland Sharks

18 JORDAN RIKI Brisbane Broncos


20 TE MAIRE MARTIN Brisbane Broncos

21 SCOTT SORENSEN Penrith Panthers

22 ERIN CLARK Gold Coast Titans

23 KEN MAUMALO Wests Tigers

24 GRIFFIN NEAME North Queensland Cowboys

Kiwi Ferns team:


1 Autumn-Rain STEPHENS DALY Newcastle Knights (2021, Current)

2 Madison BARTLETT St George (2021), Titans (Current)

3 Page MCGREGOR St George (2021)

4 Amy TURNER Broncos (2021, Current)

5 Katelyn VAHA'AKOLO Newcastle Knights (2021)

6 Laishon ALBERT-JONES Akarana Falcons

7 Raecene MCGREGOR Roosters (2021)

8 Annetta-Claudia NUUAUSALA Newcastle (2021) Broncos (Current)

9 Krystal ROTA (C) Newcastle Knights (2021)

10 Mya HILL-MOANA Roosters (2021)

11 Roxy MURDOCH-MASILA Broncos (2021)

12 Ngatokotoru ARAKUA Newcastle Knights (2021)

13 Georgia HALE Titans (2021)

14 Nita MAYNARD Paramatta Eels (2021), Broncos (Current)

15 Charlotte SCANLAN Newcastle Knights (2021)

16 Kararaina WIRA-KOHU Newcastle Knights (2021)

17 Christyl STOWERS Counties Manukau

18 Karli HANSEN Titans (2021)

19 Hailee-Jay MAUNSELL Titans (2021)


Photo file  Caption: Cronulla Sutherland winger Ronaldo Mulitalo