11 Oct 2011

Marshall confident Kiwis can overcome injury woes

7:29 am on 11 October 2011

Skipper Benji Marshall claims the depth of New Zealand's rugby league playing stocks has been highlighted by the strength of their Four Nations squad after a host of prominent withdrawals.

The Kiwis are without a dozen players for the end of season rugby league tournament, a casualty rate which in past years would have seriously weakened the squad.

The latest withdrawal was Warriors centre Krisnan Inu, who pulled on yesterday due to personal reasons, with the Kiwis yet to name a replacement.

Inu had only come into the group after original selections winger Manu Vatuvei, halfback Shaun Johnson and centre Steve Matai were ruled out with injury.

The late addition of Warriors utility Elijah Taylor and North Queensland winger Kalifa Faifai Loa boost the number of uncapped players to seven.

But Marshall, in Sydney ahead of Sunday's pre-tournament Test against Australia in Newcastle, is confident the injury ravaged team is up to the challenge and was backed by Manly's premiership-winning star Kieran Foran, who himself has just four Tests to his name.

The Kiwi's opening Four Nations clash is also against the Kangaroos in Warrington on October the 28th.