Skip to main content

Posted by RLPA

October 08, 2015

Blair and Luke to Captain Kiwis

Veterans Adam Blair and Issac Luke will be entrusted with co-captaincy of the NZ Kiwis, when they tour England over October/November.

The duo have been named by head coach Stephen Kearney to share the role that became vacant when incumbent Simon Mannering was ruled out of the tour for medical reasons earlier this week.

Blair (Kiwi #732) debuted for New Zealand at the 2006 Tri-Nations and scored the final try in the Kiwis’ 2008 World Cup final victory over Australia. He returned to the national side last year after a three-year absence, and was a key contributor to Four Nations success and for his Brisbane Broncos club, en route to this year’s NRL Grand Final.

“I think, in big games, he has delivered for us before,” says Kearney, who works daily with Blair as Brisbane Broncos assistant coach. “He’s been in the programme for quite some time and knows what’s expected – I see it as a natural choice.”

Luke (Kiwi #749) has played 33 tests for New Zealand, two more than Blair, having made his debut in the 2008 Anzac Test and then coming off the bench for the World Cup triumph later that year.

He was a driving force in South Sydney’s 2014 premiership-winning campaign, although he missed the Grand Final through suspension, and then led the Rabbitohs to victory at the 2015 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines.

“Issac is very highly respected within the group and, again, has been part of the programme for a long time,” says Kearney, who is still the youngest to hold the Kiwis captaincy.

“He’s definitely one that’s grown over the course of his Kiwis career, both as a footballer and a leader.”

They will lead a 23-strong group that includes six rookies – utility backs Jordan Kahu and Tuimoala Lolohea, wing Curtis Rona, hooker/half Kodi Nikorima, and forwards Isaac Liu and Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

“There’s nothing we can do about the players that are unavailable,” says Kearney. “They’re all injuries that we have no control over, but they give opportunities to some younger guys, who perhaps only need that opportunity to rise to the next level.”

The England tour itinerary is (all dates local)

  • Friday, October 23 v Leeds Rhinos @ Leeds
  • Sunday, November 1  v England @Hull
  • Saturday, November 7 v England @ London
  • Saturday, November 14 v England @ Wigan

The NZ Kiwis squad to tour England in October/November is:

  • Gerard Beale (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks) Kiwi #767 Debut 2011 Tests 7
  • Adam Blair (Brisbane Broncos) Kiwi #732 Debut 2006 Tests 31
  • Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm) Kiwi 775 Debut 2012 Tests 14
  • Lewis Brown (Penrith Panthers) Kiwi #762 Debut 2011 Tests 8
  • Manaia Cherrington (North Queensland Cowboys) New Kiwi
  • Alex Glenn (Brisbane Broncos) Kiwi #769 Debut 2011 Tests 10
  • Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm) Kiwi #778 Debut 2013 Tests 7
  • Peta Hiku (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles) Kiwi #781 Debut 2014 Tests 6
  • Jordan Kahu ( Brisbane Broncos) New Kiwi
  • Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters) Kiwi #746 Debut 2007 Tests 14
  • Tuimoala Lolohea (NZ Warriors) New Kiwi
  • Isaac Liu (Sydney Roosters) New Kiwi
  • Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs) Kiwi #749 Debut 2008 Tests 33
  • Ben Matulino (NZ Warriors) Kiwi #756 Debut 2009 Tests 20
  • Sam Moa (Sydney Roosters) Kiwi #780 Debut 2013 Tests 5
  • Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra Dragons) Kiwi #747 Debut 2008 Tests 25
  • Kodi Nikorima (Brisbane Broncos) New Kiwi
  • Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm) Kiwi #771 Debut 2012 Tests 8
  • Curtis Rona (Canterbury Bulldogs) New Kiwi
  • Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters) New Kiwi
  • Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers) Kiwi #785 Debut 2014 Tests 6
  • Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters) Kiwi #779 Debut 2013 Tests 8
  • Dean Whare ( Penrith Panthers)  Kiwi #776 Debut 2012 Tests 12
Partner Promotion

Visit our Partners