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Fonua-Blake and Taupau in Kiwis squad

Wayne Cousins

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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles players Addin Fonua-Blake and Martin Taupau have today been named in the New Zealand Kiwis squad for the World Cup.

Their selection caps off a remarkable season for the pair for the Sea Eagles. In his 22 games for Manly, Fonua-Blake has become a vital member of the forward pack under Coach Trent Barrett, who took his game to another level in 2017.

His selection also comes 12 months after Fonua-Blake was named in the Kiwis train-on squad for the Four Nations tournament last year. He is now on the verge of making his Test debut for New Zealand. Fonua-Blake represented Tonga earlier this year.

For Taupau, it will be his first World Cup after playing 16 Test matches for New Zealand.

Having made his Test debut for the Kiwis in 2014, Taupua has since represented his country in the 2014 and 2016 Four Nations tournaments, as well as against Australia in the annual Anzac Test matches.

Taupau played 22 matches for Manly this year. His explosive runs and huge fends again made him a powerhouse figure of the side.

New Zealand’s World Cup Pool Matches

Saturday, October 28: versus Samoa, Mt Smart Stadium, 8.10pm (NZDT)

Saturday, November 4: versus Scotland, Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch, 5pm (NZDT)

Saturday, November 11: versus Tonga, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 5pm (NZDT)

New Zealand World Cup squad 

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors) 

Dallin Watene Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers) 
Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra Dragons) 
Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders) 
Gerard Beale (Cronulla Sharks/Warriors) 
Brad Takairangi (Parramatta Eels) 
Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers) 
Peta Hiku (Warrington Wolves) 
Shaun Johnson (Warriors) 
Thomas Leuluai (Wigan Warriors) 
Kodi Nikorima (Brisbane Broncos) 
Te Maire Martin (North Queensland Cowboys) 
Danny Levi (Newcastle Knights) 
Adam Blair (Brisbane Broncos/Warriors) captain 
Martin Taupau (Manly Sea Eagles) 
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters) 
Russell Packer (St George Illawarra Dragons/Wests Tigers) 
Addin Fonua-Blake (Manly Sea Eagles) 
Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storm) 
Simon Mannering (Warriors) 
Kenny Bromwich (Melbourne Storm) 
Joseph Tapine (Canberra Raiders) 
Isaac Liu (Sydney Roosters) 
Elijah Taylor (Wests Tigers)