Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who missed the Anzac Test, and rookie winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak are among the additions to the Kiwis train-on squad.
Sydney Roosters hard man Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is in line for a Test recall after his inclusion in New Zealand’s train-on squad for the Four Nations rugby league tournament.
The prop was a surprise omission from an injury-depleted Kiwis side for the Anzac Test against Australia in May.
He is one of five Roosters added after the NRL premiers’ preliminary final defeat to South Sydney.
Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney cites Waerea-Hargreaves’ recent form for his inclusion.
“I thought his performances over the last couple of months and certainly since the Anzac Test warrant his selection in the train-on squad,” he said.
The other Roosters in the wider squad are Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Sam Moa and Isaac Liu.
Also there is rookie Penrith winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak after 10 NRL appearances that have brought seven tries.
The great grandson of former Kiwis skipper Steve Watene, Watene-Zelezniak made his first-grade debut against Canberra in April, scoring two tries.
Born in Ngaruawahia, he moved to Sydney at a young age and represented New South Wales Under-18s, but chose the Junior Kiwis last year over the Australian Schoolboys.
Kearney said the 19-year-old hadn’t looked out of place in the NRL despite his age.
“We’re building a team with the idea of really challenging for the World Cup title,” he said of the 2017 tournament.
“I have no doubt that if Dallin continues his development he will be a part of that.”
Three other Panthers have also been chosen in Sam McKendry, Lewis Brown and Dean Whare.
The train-on squad now totals 37 players and the last names will be added after the NRL grand final between South Sydney and Canterbury-Bankstown on Sunday.
The 24-strong New Zealand line-up for the Four Nations will be named in Wellington next Tuesday.
The Kiwis start their campaign against Australia in Brisbane on October 25.