Feleti Mateo's Kangaroos bid gets a boost
New Zealand Warriors utility Feleti Mateo has been named in the Australian Prime Ministers XIII to play Papua New Guinea on September 23, a potential stepping stone to eventually representing the Kangaroos.
The Sydney-born former Tongan international, who starts in the second row, was included in the original Kangaroos train-on squad for the October 13 trans-Tasman test in Townsville earlier this month - the one-off game in Port Moresby offers an opportunity to further his claims.
A member of the Tongan World Cup squad in 2008, Mateo declared his allegiance to New South Wales and Australia earlier this year and was touted as a potential State of Origin representative.
However, he had to settle for playing in the annual City versus Country trial game.
Meanwhile, Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla players were added to the train-on squad after they were eliminated from the NRL title race last weekend.
Their arrival is offset by the withdrawal of several original selections due to injury and post-season surgery requirements: Ben Creagh, Brett Morris, Trent Merrin, Beau Scott (St George Illawarra), Mitchell Pearce, Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), Tim Grant, Luke Lewis (Penrith Panthers).
Prime Ministers XIII: Darius Boyd, Akuila Uate, Jamal Idris, Chris Lawrence, Michael Jennings, Lachlan Coote, Scott Prince (captain), Aaron Woods, Andrew McCullough, Ben Hannant, Matt Gillett, Feleti Mateo, Corey Parker. Interchange bench: Peter Wallace, Tim Mannah, Josh McGuire, Ben Te'o, William Zillman (18th man).
Revised train-on squad: Andrew McCullough, Ben Hannant, Matt Gillett, Justin Hodges, Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos), Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Bryce Gibbs (Cronulla Sharks), Greg Bird, Jamal Idris, Nate Myles, Scott Prince, William Zillman (Gold Coast Titans), Darius Boyd, Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights), Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels), Lachlan Coote, Michael Jennings (Penrith Panthers), Feleti Mateo (NZ Warriors), Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers), Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers).