Kiwi Test Squad Includes 3 Debutants

Kiwi Test Side for 2008 Centenary SquadThree players yet to make their debuts have been included in a 19-man Pirtek Kiwis squad for the Centenary Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on May 9.In line to play their first test are South Sydney hooker Issac Luke, St George Illawarra winger Jason Nightingale and Sydney Roosters utility Setaimata Sa.

Hawera-born Luke (20) graduates to the Kiwi squad after making his NRL debut for the Rabbitohs last June while Sydney-born Nightingale (21), whose parents are New Zealanders, first appeared at first-grade level last May. He has scored five tries in seven matches for the Dragons this season and 12 in 23 matches in all.

Sa (20), who hails from Christchurch, had his first taste of NRL football for the Roosters on Anzac Day 2006. Sa and Luke are both former Junior Kiwis.

While Luke, Nightingale and Sa are all new to the squad, several recent Kiwis have been recalled including 16-test fullback Brent Webb (Leeds), who missed all six tests last year. The only other player named from an English Super League club is Wigan halfback Thomas Leuluai, used in last year’s series against Great Britain and in the one-off test against France in Paris.

Centre Iosia Soliola, prop Nathan Cayless, loose forward David Fa’alogo and second rower Sonny Bill Williams are all back in the side after last appearing in the Kiwi jersey in the 2007 Anzac Test.

Melbourne prop Adam Blair is back after playing four times in the 2006 Tri Nations campaign but missing much of last season through injury.

Apart from Leuluai, other players retained from last year’s tour to Britain and France are Roy Asotasi (South Sydney), Dene Halatau (Wests Tigers), Lance Hohaia (Warriors), Simon Mannering (Warriors), Sam Perrett (Sydney Roosters), Frank Pritchard (Penrith), Ben Roberts (Bulldogs) and Jeremy Smith (Melbourne). Joining them is South Sydney veteran David Kidwell, who left the tour early for personal reasons.

Asotasi will again captain the Pirtek Kiwis after leading them in each of their six tests in 2007. The playing line-up will be confirmed when the team assembles in Sydney next week.

The full squad is:

ROY ASOTASI (Captain)
(South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Born: January 6, 1982
Height: 184cm
Weight: 103kg
Position: Prop
Junior Club: Marist (Auckland)
Other NRL Clubs: Bulldogs (2002-2006)
Tests: 22 (2004-2007)
NRL Games: 116 (2002-2008)

ADAM BLAIR
(Melbourne Storm)
Born: March 20, 1986
Height: 188cm
Weight: 106kg
Position: Prop
Junior Club: Northland Carvers (Northland)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 4 (2006)
NRL Games: 31 (2006-2008)

NATHAN CAYLESS
(Parramatta Eels)
Born: March 28, 1978
Height: 185cm
Weight: 106kg
Position: Prop
Junior Club: Wentworthville (Sydney)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 33 (1998-2007)
NRL Games: 192 (1997-2008)

DAVID FA’ALOGO
(South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Born: September 9, 1980
Height: 180cm
Weight: 104kg
Position: Second row
Junior Club: Mt Albert (Auckland)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 6 (2006-2007)
NRL Games: 101 (2003-2008)

DENE HALATAU
(Wests Tigers)
Born: January 27, 1983
Height: 178m
Weight: 90kg
Position: Hooker
Junior Club: North Ryde (Sydney)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 12 (2004-2007)
NRL Games: 93 (2003-2008)

LANCE HOHAIA
(Warriors)
Born: April 1, 1983
Height: 175cm
Weight: 86kg
Position: Utility
Junior Club: Taniwharau (Waikato)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 10 (2002-2007)
First-grade Games: 101 (2002-2008)

DAVID KIDWELL
(South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Born: April 23, 1977
Height: 188cm
Weight: 104kg
Position: Second row
Junior Club: Hornby Panthers (Christchurch)
Other Clubs: Adelaide (1997-1998), Parramatta (1999-2000),
Warrington (2001), Sydney Roosters (2002), Melbourne
(2003-2006)
Tests: 24 (1999-2006)
First-grade NRL Games: 209 (1997-2008)
* First-grade games includes appearances for Warrington in 2000-2001

THOMAS LEULUAI
(Wigan Warriors)
Born: June 22, 1985
Height: 176cm
Weight: 85kg
Position: Halfback
Junior Club: Otahuhu (Auckland)
Other Clubs: Warriors (2003-2004), London Broncos (2005), Harlequins
(2005-2006)
Tests: 11 (2003-2007)
First-grade Games: 98 (2003-2008)
* First-grade games includes appearances for London Broncos, Harlequins and Wigan 2005-2008

ISSAC LUKE
(South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Born: May 29, 1987
Height: 174cm
Weight: 80kg
Position: Hooker
Junior Club: Hawera Hawks (Taranaki)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 0
NRL Games: 18 (2007-2008)

SIMON MANNERING
(Warriors)
Born: August 28, 1986
Height: 190cm
Weight: 101kg
Position: Second row/Loose forward
Junior Club: Wellington Orcas (Wellington)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 11 (2006-2007)
NRL Games: 57 (2005-2008)

JASON NIGHTINGALE
(St George Illawarra Dragons)
Born: September 20, 1986
Height: 183cm
Weight: 91kg
Position: Winger
Junior Club: Renown United (Sydney)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 0
NRL Games: 23 (2007-2008)

SAM PERRETT
(Sydney Roosters)
Born: May 14, 1985
Height: 182cm
Weight: 92kg
Position: Fullback
Junior Club: Burleigh Bears (Queensland)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 4 (2007)
NRL Games: 51 (2004-2008)

FRANK PRITCHARD
(Penrith Panthers)
Born: November 3, 1983
Height: 189cm
Weight: 109kg
Position: Second row
Junior Club: Campbelltown City (Sydney)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 13 (2005-2007)
NRL Games: 90 (2003-2008)

BEN ROBERTS
(Bulldogs)
Born: July 8, 1985
Height: 180cm
Weight: 90kg
Position: Standoff
Junior Club: Narellan Jets (Sydney)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 5 (2006-2007)
NRL Games: 34 (2006-2008)

SETAIMATA SA
(Sydney Roosters)
Born: September 14, 1987
Height: 190cm
Weight: 101kg
Position: Centre/Standoff
Junior Club: Papanui Tigers (Christchurch)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 0
NRL Games: 33 (2006-2008)

JEREMY SMITH
(Melbourne Storm)
Born: April 14, 1980
Height: 184cm
Weight: 100kg
Position: Second row
Junior Club: Runaway Bay (Queensland)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 5 (2007)
NRL Games: 47 (2004-2008)

IOSIA SOLIOLA
(Sydney Roosters)
Born: August 4, 1986
Height: 190cm
Weight: 100kg
Position: Centre
Junior Club: Ponsonby (Auckland)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 6 (2006-2007)
NRL Games: 57 (2004-2008)

BRENT WEBB
(Leeds Rhinos)
Born: November 11, 1980
Height: 175cm
Weight: 83kg
Position: Fullback
Junior Club: Cairns Kangaroos (Queensland)
Other Clubs: Warriors (2002-2006)
Tests: 16 (2004-2006)
First-grade Games: 137 (2002-2008)
* First-grade games includes appearances for Warriors 2002-2006 and Leeds Rhinos 2007-2008

SONNY BILL WILLIAMS
(Bulldogs)
Born: August 3, 1985
Height: 191cm
Weight: 105kg
Position: Loose forward/second row
Junior Club: Marist (Auckland)
Other NRL Clubs: Nil
Tests: 6 (2004-2007)
NRL Games: 68 (2004-2008)

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