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No England Place For Manu

By Ian Laybourn 14/09/2010 10:56:28 AM Comments (0)

England rugby league coach Steve McNamara has added two Hull players to his fall-out squad ahead of the Four Nations Series but there is no place for Tonga international Willie Manu.

The Hull second rower was a controversial inclusion in McNamara's 37-strong squad for the mid-season get-together in July but will not be among the 24-man touring party for Australia and New Zealand in October and November.

The 30-year-old Manu was born and raised in Sydney and represented the Junior Kiwis before going on to play for Tonga in the 2008 World Cup but now qualifies for England on residency, having moved to the United Kingdom in 2006, initially to play for Castleford.

Manu's club-mates Tom Briscoe and Kirk Yeaman were the ones called up for training ahead of the trip to New Zealand and Australia and the benefit match against Cumbria at Whitehaven on Sunday, October 3.

They join players from Bradford, Harlequins, Castleford and Salford and take McNamara's squad to 13 so far, with hopefuls from Wigan, St Helens, Warrington, Leeds, Huddersfield and Hull KR to discover their fate once their club commitments are over.

McNamara is waiting to discover the extent of injuries sustained by Leeds five-eighth Danny McGuire and St Helens halfback Kyle Eastmond but one player not in contention is Warrington centre Chris Bridge, who has ruled himself out so that he can be present for the birth of his first child.

The 26-year-old former Bradford player, who put himself in contention for the trip Down Under with an impressive performance in England's win over France in June, has told McNamara he does not wish to be considered for selection.

Bridge, who only recently returned to action after recovering from a shoulder injury, is expecting a baby girl in November with partner Kirsten McCourt and has put his international duty on hold in order to concentrate on being a first-time father.

"It is my choice and Steve said it would not affect my chances in the coming years," Bridge told the Warrington Guardian.

"Family comes first and I want to be there for the birth."

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