29 Sep 2011

Grand finals commitments forces cancellation of Kiwis' test

6:55 am on 29 September 2011

Player unavailability has forced the national body to call off next week's rugby league Test against the Cooks Islands in Rarotonga.

The Kiwis were due to fly to the Cook Islands next Tuesday to play their first-ever Test there on October 6 but New Zealand rugby League chief executive Jim Doyle says the unavailability of 29 frontline contenders had left the NZRL with no option but to cancel the Test.

Injuries and finals commitments are to blame with a number of Kiwis players involved in this Sunday's NRL grand final such as Warriors teammates Kevin Locke, Lance Hohaia, Manu Vatuvei, and Simon Mannering.

Doyle says they're bitterly disappointed but are committed to rescheduling the Test in the Cook Islands.

He says the match was also critical in terms of preparation for the Test against Australia next month and the Four Nations to follow.