Matai included in NZ squad to face Tonga - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matai included in NZ squad to face Tonga

15/10/2008 03:56:32 PM Comments (0)

Manly centre Steve Matai has been named in the New Zealand rugby league team to play Tonga in a World Cup warm-up match in Auckland on Saturday, two days after being cleared to join the squad.

Matai didn't meet up with his team-mates until Tuesday, having been doubtful for the upcoming tournament because of a shoulder injury he carried through the Sea Eagles' title run in the NRL.

Also included is New Zealand Warriors utility Nathan Fien, who will be the starting hooker.

The match will be Fien's third appearance in a Kiwi jersey, and his first since he was ruled ineligible to represent New Zealand during the 2006 Tri-Nations.

He has since qualified by residency.

Fien is one of six Warriors in the side, with the fullback spot vacated by injured Leeds custodian Brent Webb going to Lance Hohaia.

Wests Tigers' Benji Marshall will play his first Test outside Australia, teaming up in the halves with Wigan halfback Thomas Leuluai.

Marshall's three previous Tests have all been against Australia in Brisbane.

Melbourne back rower Sika Manu is in line to make his Test debut, having been included in an expanded six-man bench.

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