Puletua cleared for Tri Nations - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Puletua cleared for Tri Nations

By Laine Clark 25/08/2005 05:28:50 AM Comments (0)

Back in full training after a lengthy injury layoff, Penrith and Kiwi backrower Tony Puletua now finds himself in strange territory.

He has been cleared by his NRL club to play in New Zealand's Tri Nations rugby league campaign starting in October, if picked.

But Puletua won't be allowed to make an NRL return this season due to the risk of further aggravating his repaired pectoral tear.

Puletua - who underwent surgery after a round five clash against Melbourne - had hoped to make his long-awaited return for the Panthers last weekend against Brisbane.

However, the huge Kiwi forward said Panthers medical staff had recommended a 2006 NRL comeback - but gave the Tri Nations the thumbs up.

"It's funny. The club has said they don't want me to come back this year because they are thinking it might be pushing it too early," he said.

"But they have said I'll be right to go on tour if I get picked.

"They've said I'm right to go (and play for New Zealand).

"But my thinking was that I would like to get some games under my belt if I was picked (for New Zealand) for a bit of match fitness.

"I would like to play this week or next week but I know (coach John Lang) Langy's thoughts are different."

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