Taumalolo called up for Kiwis
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys second-rower Jason Taumalolo is in line for an NZ Kiwis debut, after being added to the train-on squad for the upcoming Four Nations tournament.
Taumalolo, and Manly’s Peta Hiku and Kieran Foran bring the wider group to 28, while several more candidates are still alive in the NRL finals.
A former Junior Kiwi, Taumalolo has yet to take the field for the senior side – he was a non-playing member of the 2012 Anzac squad and represented Tonga at last year’s Rugby League World Cup.
He was poised to make his Kiwis debut in May, but picked up an injury on the eve of the squad assembling in Sydney and was unavailable.
“Jason’s been on our radar for a while now, so it’s not like he’s suddenly dropped out of the sky,” says coach Stephen Kearney.
“Over the past two months, Jason’s form has been really impressive and, again, he was probably the best forward out on the field last week against the Sydney Roosters.”
With players from the Roosters, Canterbury Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers still to come, the train-on 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), 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), Ngani Laumape (Vodafone Warriors), Thomas Leuluai (Vodafone Warriors), Simon Mannering (Vodafone Warriors), Suaia Matagi (Vodafone Warriors), Ben Matulino (Vodafone Warriors), Matt McIlwrick (Canberra Raiders), 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), Manu Vatuvei (Vodafone Warriors)