Hodges given all-clear for Kangaroos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodges given all-clear for Kangaroos

Steve Jancetic 06/05/2011 01:16:10 PM Comments (0)

Australian centre Justin Hodges has overcome a back injury and is a confirmed starter in Friday night's rugby league Test against New Zealand.

Hodges threw a scare into the Kangaroos camp on Thursday morning when he suffered a back spasm - the injury forcing team officials to rush Willie Tonga down from Townsville to the Gold Coast late on Thursday night as cover.

But after getting through the squad's final training run on Thursday, Hodges was showing no ill-effects of the injury as he took part in the team walk on Friday morning.

"We're 1-17, no problems," Kangaroos assistant coach Peter Gentle said.

"Hodgo had a bit of a problem with his back but he's pulled up fine today."

The injury update is far less optimistic in the Kiwi camp, with Adam Blair (ankle) and Nathan Fien (hamstring) both battling to take their place in the visitors' line-up.

No decision on the pair will be made until an hour before kick-off.

Blair is considered the biggest concern and Lewis Brown is ready to come into the side, while Fien's unavailability is set to cause a major reshuffle, with Brisbane youngster Gerard Beale in line to win his first Test cap.

Should Fien pull out, fullback Lance Hohaia will likely shift to hooker, with Jason Nightingale sliding over from wing to fullback and Beale earning a debut on the wing.

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