10 Oct 2015

Kiwis lose Taumalolo for England tour

11:35 am on 10 October 2015

The New Zealand rugby league team has been dealt a blow with wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo ruled out of the upcoming tour of England with injury.

Jason Taumalolo in action for the Kiwis

Jason Taumalolo in action for the Kiwis Photo: PHOTOSPORT

21-year-old hooker Manaia Cherrington has been called into the Kiwis squad as a replacement for the NRL Premiership-winning forward.

The North Queensland lock has had to withdraw from the team due to a knee complaint.

The Kiwis tour to England kicks off on Sunday October 24th with their opening match against Super League side the Leeds Rhinos.

Taumalolo played a starring role in the Cowboys' dramatic grand final victory over Brisbane last weekend.

Cherrington was born in Whangarei and captained the Junior Kiwis to victory over the Junior Kangaroos last year.

He was named in the 2014 National Youth Competition and made his NRL debut for the Wests Tigers in June, eventually making 11 appearances and scoring one try.

"Jason has had a wonderful year, but holding him out of this tour will probably benefit him and us long term," said the Kiwis head coach Stephen Kearney.

"We're confident we can cover his position from within the current squad and Manaia's addition will allow Lewis Brown to play more in his preferred second-row role."

Cherrington's selection brings the number of rookies on tour to seven.

"We have many talented players coming through our programmes and into the NRL these days. Manaia is just one of those and I think he will be key contributor to Kiwis teams for many years to come," said Kearney.

England tour itinerary:

Friday, October 23 v Leeds Rhinos @ Leeds

(8am, Oct 24 NZ time)

Sunday, November 1 v England @Hull

(6am, Nov 2 NZ time)

Saturday, November 7 v England @ London

(3.30am, Nov 8 NZ time)

Saturday, November 14 v England @ Wigan

(2am, Nov 15 NZ time)

New Zealand squad:

Gerard Beale, Adam Blair, Jesse Bromwich, Lewis Brown, Manaia Cherrington, Alex Glenn, Tohu Harris, Peta Hiku, Jordan Kahu, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Tuimoala Lolohea, Isaac Liu, Issac Luke, Ben Matulino, Sam Moa, Jason Nightingale, Kodi Nikorima, Kevin Proctor, Curtis Rona, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Martin Taupau, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dean Whare.