2 May 2016

Luke dropped from depleted Kiwis

7:21 am on 2 May 2016

Warriors hooker Issac Luke has been dropped from the New Zealand rugby league team for Friday night's test against Australia in Newcastle.

Issac Luke

Issac Luke Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Storm prop Jesse Bromwich will captain the side in the absence of injured second-rower Simon Mannering.

Halfback Shaun Johnson is the Warriors' sole representative in the Kiwis squad, after the club further punished the six players they stood down for breaching team protocol by making them unavailable for this weekend's internationals.

That meant Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney was unable to select senior duo Manu Vatuvei and Ben Matulino and former squad member Bodene Thompson.

New Zealand is often hit hard by player unavailability for the mid-year test and this time round is no different with star fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck gone with season-ending knee injury, while five-eighth Kieran Foran withdrew last week due to personal reasons.

Kearney unveiled the 18-man squad last night which features two new caps in Penrith wing Watene-Zelezniak and Parramatta forward Manu Ma'u.

Newcastle hooker Danny Levi was included as 19th-man.

With regular captain Mannering sidelined, Bromwich, who debuted in 2012, will lead the side for the first time.

Thirty-six test hooker Luke last week said that he did not deserve to hold his place in the side after a disappointing start to the season with the Warriors.

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