Civoniceva in doubt for Four Nations - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Civoniceva in doubt for Four Nations

By Ian McCullough 16/09/2009 05:37:50 PM Comments (0)

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens accepts he may need to forge a completely new prop combination with Petero Civoniceva in doubt for next month's Four Nations rugby league tournament in England and France.

Civoniceva has pulled out of the Prime Ministers' XIII team to play Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on September 27 in a bid to ensure he's fit for the Kangaroos tour after missing the last two months of the NRL season with a toe injury.

With Civoniceva's longtime Test and Queensland front-row partner Steve Price previously ruled out of the tour, Sheens is already contingency planning for life after the veterans.

"Petero is only just out of the (moon) boot a week and he did a modified session this morning, but I am going to give him a couple of weeks to continue to get ready to play," Sheens said.

"There has got to be some doubt about Petero, but that test will come in about two weeks.

"It is big gamble to take a man who not played a lot of footy at all, but with his experience ... and if the fitness test is solid he will be considered.

"If there is no Petero and no Pricey then there is a big chance for all of the props. The chance was always coming, the guys are getting no younger."

Those likely to come into the selection spotlight include Ben Hannant, Michael Weyman, Justin Poore and Brent Kite, although finals performances could be decisive.

Civoniceva said he was desperate to play on the tour and would be doing all he could to get on the plane to England in October.

"It is unfortunate I had to pull out of the Prime Ministers XIII but I suppose it is for precautionary reasons," he said.

"I have only a couple of weeks running under my belt and it wouldn't be wise to go straight into a game," he said.

"I have got the clearance from the specialist and it is all good.

"I have until the side gets selected to prove my fitness."

"Ideally it would be great to play in PNG but all I can do is see how I go and if they are happy will be on the plane."

Civoniceva said his club coach Matthew Elliott had also given his blessing to his captain continuing to play representative games, despite the loss of his most influential player from a State of Origin injury being a main reason the Panthers failed to make the finals this season.

"Matty has been great," Civoniceva said.

"Obviously it was hard knowing I missed such a large portion of the season because of an injury due to a rep game but he understands the importance and what it means to me."

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