WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Melbourne Storm prop Jesse Bromwich will captain a New Zealand squad containing five uncapped players in rugby league's Four Nations tournament starting later this month.
In naming his first squad as Kiwis coach, David Kidwell handed international call-ups to New Zealand Warriors backs David Fusitu'a and Solomone Kata, Penrith playmaker Te Maire Martin and Canberra Raiders players Joseph Tapine and Jordan Rapana.
Veteran winger Manu Vatuvei has been omitted but Kidwell said that did not mean his international career is over.
Bromwich retains the captaincy after leading New Zealand in a test loss to Australia in May. Former captain Simon Mannering was also included in the 24-man squad announced Tuesday, but Kidwell said Mannering is happy to have been relieved of the burden of captaincy.
Kidwell has recently taken over as Kiwis coach from Stephen Kearney and has selected a new-look side.
"In picking this team we've tried to achieve a balance between players who are proven at test level and those that are the future of the Kiwis program," he said. "Injuries play an unfortunate part in our game and some of these newcomers will get an immediate opportunity to show they're ready for the next level."
Players unavailable because of injury include Roger Tuivasa-Shock, Peta Hiku, Dean Whare, Kieran Foran, Ben Matulino, Alex Glenn and Kodi Nikorima.
New Zealand will play Australia at Perth on Oct. 15 in a lead-up to the Four Nations, which begins Oct. 28 with a match between Australia and Scotland. New Zealand will play England on Oct. 29.
New Zealand: Gerard Beale, Adam Blair, Jesse Bromwich (captain), Lewis Brown, Greg Eastwood, David Fusitu'a, Tohu Harris, Shaun Johnson, Jordan Kahu, Solomone Kata, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Thomas Leuluai, Issac Luke, Simon Mannering, Te Maire Martin, Manu Ma'u, Jason Nightingale, Kevin Proctor, Jordan Rapana, Joseph Tapine, Jason Taumalolo, Martin Taupau, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.