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Kiwis play waiting game with Leuluai

The Kiwis are hoping influential five-eighth Thomas Leuluai will feature at the Rugby League World Cup after scans cleared him of a serious injury.
Kiwis play waiting game with Leuluai
by AAP

LEEDS, Nov 5 AAP - The Kiwis are hoping influential five-eighth Thomas Leuluai will feature at the Rugby League World Cup after scans cleared him of a serious injury.

The 28-year-old Leuluai remains sidelined with a groin injury, but manager Tony Iro says the prognosis is positive.

"The scans have come back all clear with no tear, so it's just a matter of managing it as best we can," Iro said.

"We know how important he is to the side, both in a leadership capacity and as a player so we're prepared to wait.

"We'd like to think we've got another month in this tournament and we think that's plenty enough time to get him back on the field and 100 per cent."

Iro says when Leuluai is fit enough to return to the side, he'll inform the coaching staff.

"He was still feeling a little sore last week, with the type of injury it is, it's up to him when he's feeling better and then we'll start giving him a run."

Hulking winger Manu Vatuvei is likely to start against Papua New Guinea in Leeds on Saturday, after missing the victory over France in Avignon.

Iro says he probably could have played last week, if they needed him.

"We just wanted to give him as much time and make sure he's 100 per cent right. He wasn't quite there last week and he's a big guy and another important cog in our attacking part of our team. He's ready to go."

Fullback Kevin Locke is also expected to be fit for selection, despite sitting out a large part of training after being crunched in a Sonny Bill Williams tackle.


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