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New Zealand Rugby League is pleased to announce the following players have been selected to represent the New Zealand Residents who will take on the NZ Māori Residents this Sunday, 4 pm at Mt Smart Stadium.

The last time the two met was in 2017 where the NZ Māori Residents came away with a 22 – 16 victory.

The NZ Residents squad consists of the best players from the NZRL National Men’s competition; many who have already achieved professional or international rugby league success.

NZRL congratulates the following players:

Alex Todd – Canterbury Bulls
Chase Bernard – Akarana Falcons
Dallas McEwan – Wellington Orcas
Emeliano Mikaele – Counties Manukau Stingrays
Francis Leger – Akarana Falcons
Jacob Paulo – Counties Manukau Stingrays
Johnson Peri – Upper Central Stallions
Jordan Te Aho – Akarana Falcons
Keanu Dawson – Waikato Mana
Mathew Tuitama – Akarana Falcons
Matiu Stone Dunn – Akarana Falcons
Michael Ki – Akarana Falcons
Patrick Sipley – Akarana Falcons
Penitito Ilalio – Canterbury Bulls
Preston Riki – Akarana Falcons
Ray Tuimalo-Vaega – Akarana Falcons
Sam Fa’apito – Akarana Falcons
Samuel Nati – Counties Manukau Stingrays

NZRL National Men’s Premiers Akarana Falcons, front 10 of the 18 Residents players after convincingly defending their title with a 64-18 win over Counties Manukau over the weekend.

Akarana captain and NZ Resident veteran Francis Leger took home MVP of the Men’s Premiership competition and MVP of the final.

2018 Sonny Fai medallist and Warriors player of the year (Flegg and Intrust) Preston Riki gets the call up alongside teammate and former Wynnum Manly Sea Eagle, Patrick Sipley.

Canterbury and Linwood teammates Penitito Ilalio and Alex Todd return to the side after featuring in last year’s Residents campaign.

“We have some undeniable talent across the park,” says NZRL CEO Greg Peters.

“It’s exciting we are able to showcase this with the much-anticipated clash against the NZ Māori Residents come Sunday, especially with all that’s happened with Covid, it’s great to see this come to light.

“The talent on display across the Men’s Premiership competition this year was quality and it’s evident by the calibre named in this team. I have no doubt this will be a tough and passionate affair! Congratulations to our NZ Residents.”

The NZ Residents face the NZ Māori Residents this Sunday 4 pm following the NZ Schools v Clubs match at Mt Smart Stadium.

It is a gold coin entry donation to Mt Smart on the day; otherwise both games will be televised live on Sky Sport 4.