Inu no certainty: Kearney - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Inu no certainty: Kearney

By Steve Mascord 03/11/2009 01:21:00 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta star Krisnan Inu is no guarantee to be called up for New Zealand's Four Nations Test against England on Saturday, despite the eye injury to centre Steve Matai, Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney has admitted.

Inu, a Test regular for three years who played 21 times for the Eels this year, has been on the outer for the entire Kiwis campaign after being rested from the warm-up Test against Tonga, with Newcastle's Junior Sau stealing the march on him for matches against Australia and France.

But he was seen as the obvious choice to replace Matai who will undergo further tests on his injured left eye in Manchester on Tuesday.

"I know Krisnan would do a good job but I have to look at the opposition and what is best for the team," Kearney said.

"I thought Sia Soliola did a good job when he moved into that position for Steve on Saturday night so there are a few options there. We haven't really made up our minds."

Kearney conceded that Inu's continuing exclusion would raise eyebrows and disappoint the player but he said he had been clear from the beginning that reputations would count for little during the tournament.

"I've said all along that teams will be picked on form and we will go with the people we think are best for the job at hand," he said.

Asked if form at training was an important factor in such selections, he said: "Well, what you are looking for is the full package."

Kearney was delighted on Monday to see injured forwards Bronson Harrison and Jeff Lima (both calf) stretch out on a treadmill to make strong plays for selection - which will come on Wednesday or Thursday.

"We hope they pick up the intensity in the next few days."

He responded to the looming excitement about prop Fuifui Moimoi's clash with Englishman Sam Burgess by saying: "Fui is a completely different person to the one who came here two years ago.

"The training staff who were here in 2007 say that he has changed enormously. Perhaps in 2007, he didn't really grasp what he had to do to be successful.

"His form throughout the season in the NRL this year shows his preparation and application are right up there now.

"There are going to be collisions. You've only got to look at the way Fui plays. It may be Sam, it may be Adrian (Morley), it may be Jamie (Peacock) but it is going to happen.

"You saw him on Saturday - Fui likes to run at bodies. I won't be saying anything to him about it."

And the coach disputed claims by Australian rival Tim Sheens that the Kiwis and English had resorted to violent "garbage" in tackles so far in the tournament.

"Us?" he said. "It's not something that I've really noticed much."

The Kiwis train again in Leeds on Tuesday. England had no organised media opportunity on Monday but are expected to open up their camp earlier in the week.

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