Mannering ruled out of Four Nations
Rugby League, Updated:
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New Zealand coach David Kidwell has admitted losing Simon Mannering to injury ahead of the Four Nations is a big blow to his side.
The former skipper was expected to recover from what was thought to be a minor knee problem in time for the games against Australia, England and Scotland, but NRL side the Warriors have confirmed the back-rower won't be available for selection.
Kidwell has conceded it is a blow to lose Mannering but is also looking forward to having his replacement in the form of Penrith Panthers youngster James Fisher-Harris in the squad.
"Simon is a big loss for us," Kidwell said. "His leadership, experience and work ethic are really valuable, but I'm confident in my senior playing group to demonstrate those characteristics, on and off the field.
"James was really high on our list for the initial squad but narrowly missed out. We are fortunate to have this calibre of player to call on.
"He's come through the NZRL pathways and has performed at a very high level in the NRL. I'm looking forward to getting him in camp."