Kiwis call Super League duo
Leuluai and Eastwood named in Four Nations preliminary party
Last Updated: 06/09/10 9:18am
Leuluai: named in NZ preliminary squad
Wigan's Thomas Leuluai and Leeds back rower Greg Eastwood have been named in New Zealand's preliminary squad for the end-of-season Four Nations series.
Leuluai, who operates at scrum-half for the Warriors but as a hooker for his country, and Eastwood, who is departing Leeds at the end of the season, are the only Super League-based players to have been included in the initial 43-man party.
Both players were part of New Zealand's Four Nations team last year and they will join their national team-mates once their involvement in the Super League Grand Final play-offs come to an end.
Regardless of how Wigan and Leeds perform, the duo will be available for the warm-up Test against Samoa in Auckland on October 16.
Players from the National Rugby League top eight sides provide 31 of the players with New Zealand Warriors having the biggest contingent with 11 players and the Sydney Roosters seeing six men selected.
"The fact we have so many of the train-on squad involved in finals football starting this weekend is a major boost for us," stated Kiwi boss Stephen Kearney.
"It has to be beneficial having such a significant number with the chance of going well into the finals, perhaps all the way to the grand final."
Of the 43 players named, 12 are yet to make their debuts.
Warriors winger Kevin Locke and South Sydney back rower Eddy Pettybourne were both in the Kiwis' official touring party for last year's Four Nations in England and France but did not make it onto the field.
Warriors second rower Ukuma Ta'ai and Manly winger Tony Williams have both previously represented Tonga and their eligibility has yet to be confirmed with the Rugby League International Federation.
New Zealand squad: Alex Glenn, Antonio Winterstein (all Brisbane), Bryson Goodwin, Ben Roberts (Canterbury Bulldogs), Bronson Harrison (Canberra), Greg Eastwood (Leeds), Kieran Foran, Steve Matai, Tony Williams (Manly), Adam Blair, Sika Manu (Melbourne), Junior Sa'u, Zeb Taia (Newcastle), Krisnan Inu, Fuifui Moimoi (Parramatta), Sam McKendry, Frank Pritchard (Penrith), Nathan Fien, Jason Nightingale, Jeremy Smith (St George Illawarra), Roy Asotasi, Issac Luke, Eddy Pettybourne, Fetuli Talanoa (South Sydney), Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Joseph Leilua, Mose Masoe, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sam Perrett, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), Lewis Brown, Aaron Heremaia, Lance Hohaia, Kevin Locke, Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, Sam Rapira, Jerome Ropati, Ukuma Ta'ai, Manu Vatuvei (New Zealand Warriors), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers), Thomas Leuluai (Wigan)