Storm's Manu to start for NZ v Kangaroos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm's Manu to start for NZ v Kangaroos

22/10/2008 04:26:56 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Storm forward Sika Manu has won a starting spot in the New Zealand side for Sunday's Rugby League World Cup match at the Sydney Football Stadium.

After making his Test debut off the bench against Tonga last Saturday, the in-form newcomer was elevated to the run-on side to partner Simon Mannering in the second row.

Coach Stephen Kearney reshuffled several positions from the 56-8 win over Tonga, with captain and prop Nathan Cayless (knee), wing Manu Vatuvei and fullback Lance Hohaia (both hamstring) all passed fit to play after being rested at the weekend as a precaution.

"In the end we didn't want to take any risks with Nathan, Manu and Lance against Tonga," Kearney said.

"It made sense to keep them out of that match after they'd all played for the All Golds against New Zealand Maori (on October 12).

"Now they're right to go against Australia."

Prop Adam Blair also forced his way into the starting line-up ahead of Sam Rapira who is on the bench, while Sam Perrett edged out Parramatta's Krisnan Inu for a spot on the wing after an impressive display as Hohaia's stand-in on Saturday.

Experienced hooker Dene Halatau edged out South Sydney's Issac Luke for a spot on the bench behind starting No.9 Nathan Fien, while Rapira, Greg Eastwood and Setaimata Sa make up the interchange bench.

Those to miss the squad altogether included Inu, Luke and Kiwis regular David Fa'alogo.

New Zealand: Lance Hohaia, Sam Perrett, Steve Matai, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, Benji Marshall, Thomas Leuluai, Nathan Cayless (capt), Nathan Fien, Adam Blair, Simon Mannering, Sika Manu, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Dene Halatau, Greg Eastwood, Setaimata Sa, Sam Rapira.

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