Raiders Tapine and Rapana named in Kiwis squad
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Raiders Tapine and Rapana named in Kiwis squad

Canberra Raiders Joe Tapine and Jordan Rapana were named in Michael Maguire's New Zealand squad for their end-of-season Tests, but their Green Machine teammate Josh Papalii was an omission from Australia's squad due to his upcoming wedding.

Tapine's on the comeback from thumb surgery and could miss the Kiwis' first Test, against the Kangaroos in Auckland on October 13, but should be right for their three-Test series against England.

He's emerged as one of the most dangerous second-rowers in the NRL this season, despite his campaign being interrupted by injury and suspension.

Jordan Rapana and Joe Tapine have been named in the Kiwis squad.

Jordan Rapana and Joe Tapine have been named in the Kiwis squad.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

The 24-year-old will be joined in the squad by Rapana, who was part of the haka in honour of Dally M Medallist Roger Tuivasa-Sheck last week.

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But their Kiwis side won't be up against Papalii, who had a sensational second half of the season on his way to winning his second Mal Meninga Medal.

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He wasn't picked for either the Kangaroos' Tests against the Kiwis and Tonga - at Mount Smart Stadium on October 20 - or the Prime Minister's XIII team to play Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on Saturday.

Papalii's marrying fiancee Masepa Selesa and had his buck's party on the weekend, with Raiders teammates Joey Leilua, Michael Oldfield and Dunamis Lui, plus former teammate and Brisbane five-eighth Anthony Milford, attending.

Nick Cotric and Emre Guler were selected in Neil Henry's Junior Kangaroos side to face a Junior Kiwis team containing Raiders playmaker Paul Roache.

Cotric will also play in the PM's XIII and Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga hoped it was the start of a "fantastic representative career" and a stepping stone to higher honours.

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Meninga said Cotric's time at fullback for the Raiders this season would help his development.

"He could play a number of positions in the backline. His versatility is very good. Him playing at fullback was excellent," Meninga said.

"It gives him appreciation of where he needs to be from a fitness point of view and an involvement point of view. Winger probably suits him more at the moment."

Rapana's sister Tazmin Gray is set to make her Jillaroos debut after she was named in the squad to face New Zealand.

She was eligible to represent both countries, having been born in Australia but she also did some of her growing up in New Zealand.

REPRESENTATIVE RAIDERS

New Zealand Kiwis: Joe Tapine, Jordan Rapana.

Junior Kangaroos: Nick Cotric, Emre Guler

Junior Kiwis: Paul Roache

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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