Reimis Smith, Corey Harawira-Naera and Jeremy Marshall-King have all been named in New Zealand’s 16-man squad for the World Cup Nines at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney on October 18 and 19.
The three Bulldogs players will make their International debuts alongside Eels rookie Dylan Brown, Raiders winger Bailey Simonsson and Sharks forward Braden Hamlin-Uele in the inaugural International World Nines tournament.
Marshall-King capped a brilliant year for the Dogs after he collected the Coaches award at the club’s presentation night, while Harawira-Naera impressed in his first season with the Bulldogs scoring five tries and delivering 59 offloads to be ranked number one alongside Eels prop Junior Paulo
Winger Smith continued to shine and show why he is one of the best finishers in the game scoring 12 tries and averaging 109 running metres per game.
Marshall-King makes the New Zealand team in the same year his older brother Benji made his Test comeback for the Kiwis against Tonga, while Smith is the son of Kiwi Tyran Smith, who made eight appearances for New Zealand from 1996-2000.
Following the Nines, the Kiwis switch mode to Test football with their Oceania Cup clash against the Kangaroos in Wollongong on Friday, October 25 before flying to New Zealand for two Tests against the reformed Great Britain Rugby League Lions.
The first of these will be the second match of an international tripleheader at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday, November 2, which also features the Kangaroos facing Mate Ma’a Tonga and Toa Samoa taking on Fiji Bati in Oceania Cup matches.
The Kiwis then move to Christchurch for the second Test at Orangetheory Stadium (formerly AMI Stadium) on Saturday, November 9.
NZ Nines squad
Leeson Ah Mau (Vodafone Warriors)
Dylan Brown (Parramatta Eels)
James Fisher-Harris (Penrith Panthers)
Corey Harawira-Naera (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Braden Hamlin-Uele (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Jamayne Isaako (Brisbane Broncos)
Shaun Johnson (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks)
Jeremy Marshall-King (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Ken Maumalo (Vodafone Warriors)
Briton Nikora (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks)
Kodi Nikorima (Vodafone Warriors)
Kevin Proctor (Gold Coast Titans)
Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders)
Bailey Simonsson (Canberra Raiders)
Reimis Smith (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Joseph Tapine (Canberra Raiders)
* For ticket and travel packages for the Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s Sydney 2019, head to nrl.com/tickets.