Six NRL Grand Finalists included in New Zealand squad for World Cup

Drew Darbyshire
James Fisher-Harris New Zealand PA

Six players from the NRL Grand Final have been named in an incredibly strong New Zealand squad for the World Cup.

Back-to-back NRL Premiership winners James Fisher-Harris, Moses Leota and Scott Sorensen have been included in Michael Maguire’s side after helping Penrith Panthers beat Parramatta Eels 28-12 in the Grand Final on Sunday.

The Penrith trio are joined by Dylan Brown, Isaiah Papali’i and Marata Niukore from the defeated Eels side.

Maguire has only named three uncapped players in his side – Sorensen, Jeremy Marshall-King (Bulldogs) and Sebastian Kris (Raiders).

There is no place for Kiwi icon Shaun Johnson in Maguire’s side.

The Kiwis are based in Leeds this week as they prepare for a World Cup warm-up match against Super League Grand Finalists Leeds.

Kiwi icon Tommy Leuluai will play the final game of his career in their game at Headingley. The 37-year-old will join Wigan’s coaching staff ahead of next season.

Maguire said: “Selecting the squad for the World Cup was a real challenge given the quality of players in contention.

“There were some tough calls to make but we’re excited about the group we’ve settled on.

“These players have all been impressive for their clubs this season, not least James (Fisher-Harris), Moses (Leota) and Scott (Sorensen) who were all outstanding for Penrith in the Grand Final.”

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New Zealand squad for World Cup:

Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storm)

Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)

Kenny Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)

Dylan Brown (Parramatta Eels)

James Fisher-Harris (Penrith Panthers)

Kieran Foran (Manly Sea Eagles)

Peta Hiku (North Queensland Cowboys)

Jahrome Hughes (Melbourne Storm)

Sebastian Kris (Canberra Raiders)

Moses Leota (Penrith Panthers)

Isaac Liu (Gold Coast Titans)

Joey Manu (Sydney Roosters)

Jeremy Marshall-King (Canterbury Bulldogs)

Ronaldo Mulitalo (Cronulla Sharks)

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Canberra Raiders)

Briton Nikora (Cronulla Sharks)

Marata Niukore (Parramatta Eels)

Isaiah Papali’i (Parramatta Eels)

Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders)

Brandon Smith (Melbourne Storm)

Scott Sorensen (Penrith Panthers)

Joe Tapine (Canberra Raiders)

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters)

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (New Zealand Warriors)

New Zealand are in a group alongside Ireland, Lebanon and Jamaica. They start their World Cup campaign against Lebanon at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington on Sunday, October 16.

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