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Sport | Rugby league

Kohukohu Kid to captain Kiwi Campaign

Penrith’s three-times NRL premiership-winning prop James Fisher-Harris has been named to lead the New Zealand Kiwis in their Pacific Championships campaign.

The 27-year-old, originally from Kohukohu in Hokianga, was given the nod by coach Michael Maguire as the Kiwi and the Kiwi A squads assembled in Auckland this weekend ahead of this weekend’s triple-header at Eden Park.

The Kiwis take on Toa Samoa while the New Zealand A side will face Mate Ma’a Tonga A on a day when the Kiwis Ferns meet Mate Ma’a Tonga.

Fisher-Harris takes over the captaincy from fellow Ngāpuhi forward Jesse Bromwich, who has called time on his international career.

The 37 players selected for the two New Zealand teams gathered with staff and an array of Kiwi greats as the squad prepares to take on last year’s Rugby League World Cup runners up.

Ruben Wiki, Tawera Nikau, Stacey Jones, Stephen Kearney, Adam Blair and Nathan Cayless all spoke passionately about what the Kiwi jersey meant to them.

‘Privilege and an honour’

“It’s such a privilege and honour to be named to lead my country,” Fisher-Harris said. “I’m proud to represent my family and the people from where I’m from (in Northland).

It will be a special moment leading my teammates out against Toa Samoa at Eden Park.”

It won’t be Fisher-Harris’ first experience leading the Kiwis having filled the role for Bromwich in last year’s Rugby League World Cup clash against Jamaica in Hull.

“James has grown into a wonderful leader during my time with the Kiwis,” Kiwi head coach Michael Maguire said.

“He was a natural choice to become captain for this campaign. He’s so respected by all our players and staff alike, very much a leader whose actions do the talking.”

Fisher-Harris leads a Kiwi squad that includes 12 players who lined up in the 14-16 semi-final loss to the Kangaroos at the Rugby League World Cup last November.

Public Interest Journalism