20 Oct 2022
What are the teams for New Zealand v Jamaica men at the Rugby League World Cup?
Scott Sorensen will continue a family tradition when he makes his Kiwis bow
By Jack Lacey-Hatton
Scott Sorensen will continue a remarkable family tradition when he makes his Test debut for New Zealand in their Group C clash with Jamaica on Saturday evening.
The two-time NRL Premiership winner, 29, is set to become the fifth member of his family to represent the Kiwis, more than seven decades after his grandfather Bill made his bow. Scott’s great-uncle Dave and uncles Dane and Kurt also pulled on the New Zealand jersey.
Sebastian Kris is another set to make his debut against the Reggaie Warriors while Dallin Watene-Zelezniak makes his first Kiwis appearance since 2019 on the other wing.
Marata Niukore, Moses Leota, Briton Nikora and Isaac Liu also come in, with James Fisher-Harris to captain the side.
The Kiwis beat Lebanon in their opener while Jamaica went down 48-2 against an impressive Ireland in Leeds last week.
Romeo Monteith’s 19-man squad is again captained by Huddersfield Giants’ Ashton Golding, who made more tackles (55) than any other player in the opening round.
New Zealand: 1 Joseph Manu, 24 Sebastian Kris, 3 Marata Niukore, 4 Peta Hiku, 19 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Dylan Brown, 14 Kieran Foran, 15 Moses Leota, 9 Brandon Smith, 10 James Fisher-Harris (C), 12 Kenny Bromwich, 17 Briton Nikora, 20 Isaac Liu, 11, Isaiah Papali’I, 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 22 Jeremy Marshall-King, 23 Scott Sorensen, 21 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 8 Jesse Bromwich
Jamaica: 2 Mo Agoro, 15 Jorge Andrade, 22 Chevaughan Bailey, 3 Joe Brown, 12 Joel Farrell, 13 Ashton Golding (C), 19 Bradley Ho, 20 Greg Johnson, 1 Ben Jones-Bishop, 17 Aaron Jones-Bishop, 10 Michael Lawrence, 8 Khamisi McKain, 4 Jacob Ogden, 7 Kieran Rush, 24 Andrew Simpson, 16 Keenan Tomlinson, 11 AJ Wallace, 6 James Woodburn-Hall, 5 Alex Young.
Saturday’s clash in Hull will make history as New Zealand and Jamaica have never previously met on the international stage.
At the last three tournaments, the 2013 Rugby League World Cup in England is the only occasion when New Zealand went undefeated at the group stage.
Even when lifting the trophy in 2008, the Kiwis suffered a defeat along the way in the first round.
New Zealand record
The number one ranked side in the world have a stellar Rugby League World Cup record, the high point coming in 2008 when they defeated hosts Australia in the final to lift the Paul Barrière Trophy for the first time.
While the pandemic has curtailed the number of tests played in recent years, the Kiwis did win their first game in just over two-and-a-half years before the tournament with a win over Tonga.
They then recovered from Lebanon scoring a try inside a minute to win their Group C opener last Sunday, 34-12.
Jamaica are yet to win a Rugby League World Cup match, with the 2021 tournament marking their debut at the competition.
However, they have a respectable win percentage of 30.4% in international matches since their inaugural game against USA in 2009.
Ranked 21st, Jamaica are the lowest-ranked nation at the Rugby League World Cup but have been building for this tournament ever since they qualified in 2018.
A 16-10 win away to the USA in Jacksonville punched their ticket and also bagged the Americas Rugby League Championship.
Players to watch
- Even in a star-studded squad It’s hard to ignore Joseph Manu as the Kiwi’s standout talent. Manu showed his quality in the win over Lebanon, setting up Dylan Brown after a line break before scoring himself with a solo effort to end the contest.
- Utility man James Woodburn-Hall limped off against Ireland but has recovered to take his place in the squad against the Kiwis. He kicked for an average of 53 metres per kick at the 2021 men’s Rugby League World Cup, the most of any player in the competition.
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets