Rugby League World Cup: NZ Kiwis coach Michael Maguire names six NRL Grand Finalists, three debutants in 24-man squad

NZ Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has includedsix NRL Grand Finalists and three new faces in his 24-man squad for this year's Rugby League World Cup in England.

Following Penrith Panthers' 28-12 victory over Parramatta Eels for the club crown, Dylan Brown, James Fisher-Harris, Moses Leota, Marata Niukore, Isaiah Papali'i, Scott Sorensen will all link with the rest of their teammates, who departed for England last week.

Sorensen's selection is his first for the Kiwis, joining Canberra Raiders centre Sebastian Kris and hooker Jeremy Marshall-King of Canterbury Bulldogs as first-timers.

NZ Kiwis celebrate against Tonga.
NZ Kiwis celebrate against Tonga. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

Marshall-King hopes to emulate older brother Benji Marshall, who won the World Cup in 2008.

Meanwhile, Maguire has largely kept the faith with the side that beat Mate Ma'a Tonga 26-6 in their last outing.

Melbourne Storm's Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jahrome Hughes, Brandon Smith, and brothers Jesse and Kenny Bromwich will all travel to England, along with Sydney Roosters duo Joseph Manu and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

Waerea-Hargreaves will miss the opening matches of the campaign, serving a three-game suspension at the end of his NRL season.

Manu joins the squad after selection in the NRL's Dally M Team of the Year, alongside Canberra Raiders forward Joseph Tapine.

Fellow Raider Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad returns to the Kiwis side, despite an injury-plagued season with Canberra.

Cronulla Sharks contribute two players in winger Ronaldo Mulitalo and second-rower Briton Nikora, while winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is the only NZ Warriors player called up.

Gold Coast Titans' Isaac Liu and Kieran Foran of Manly Sea Eagles are the sole representatives from their clubs.

But with arguably one of the strongest Kiwis squads - on paper - ever selected, Maguire has also swung the axe on several NRL stars, unfortunate not to be selected.

Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson has been overlooked, after being named in the wider squad last month, along with utilities Te Maire Martin and Kodi Nikorima.

Forwards Braden Hamlin-Uele of the Sharks and Corey Harawira-Naera have also missed out, despite being named in the wider squad, while Eels utility Bailey Simonsson hasn't been selected, after appearing to suffer a shoulder injury in the Grand Final defeat.

NZ Kiwis squad: Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jesse Bromwich, Kenneath Bromwich, Dylan Brown, James Fisher-Harris, Kieran Foran, Peta Hiku, Jahrome Hughes, Sebastian Kris, Moses Leota, Isaac Liu, Joseph Manu, Jeremy Marshall-King, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Briton Nikora, Marata Niukore, Isaiah Papali'i, Jordan Rapana, Brandon Smith, Scott Sorensen, Joseph Tapine, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

Catch live coverage of the Rugby League World Cup on Spark Sport, and free-to-air on Three and ThreeNow, or join us for live updates of all Kiwis games, beginning October 17 against Lebanon

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