Australia gears up for Tri series final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia gears up for Tri series final

By Wayne Heming 24/11/2005 07:00:35 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand match winner Stacey Jones is the unknown factor for Saturday's Tri Nations rugby league final and Australia believes he will be affected by this week's rushed trip back home for the birth of his third child.

The Kiwis are content to gamble the champion halfback's body clock will not be too jumbled following his marathon journey halfway around the world and back.

Jones, whose wife Rachelle had a caesarian section during the week, is expected to arrive back in Leeds in time to make the Kiwi's final training session.

The concern is how mentally and physically drained he'll be and how he'll cope with jet-lag playing the following night.

Jones will fly business class so he'll get some sleep.

"I'm glad it's him and not me," said Australian coach Wayne Bennett who has no doubt the journey will take some toll on Jones.

"He'll be affected by it, I don't think there's any doubt about that.

"We're all affected by jet travel for a period of time, but to what extent (it effects Jones), I don't know."

Injured tour captain Darren Lockyer is worried Jones' crazy week could work against the Kangaroos.

Lockyer, who will miss the final with a broken foot, said while it was not the best preparation, Jones would have ample time on the trip back to focus on what he wanted to do.

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