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NZ's Pritchard out of RLWC final

New Zealand backrower Frank Pritchard has been ruled out of Saturday's Rugby League World Cup final after failing to recover from a hamstring injury.
NZ's Pritchard out of RLWC final
by AAP

By Liam FitzGibbon

MANCHESTER, England, Nov 28 AAP - New Zealand backrower Frank Pritchard has been ruled out of Saturday's Rugby League World Cup final after failing to recover from a hamstring injury.

The experienced Canterbury forward was on Thursday left out of the Kiwis' 19-man squad for the clash with Australia at Old Trafford but wingers Manu Vatuvei and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck were named despite injury concerns.

Pritchard missed last weekend's 20-18 semi-final win over England and Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney said it was not worth taking a risk in such a big game.

Kearney has called up secondrower Greg Eastwood, who is one of four survivors from the Kiwis' World Cup-winning team from 2008 and will be vying with Alex Glenn to replace Pritchard.

"We made a final decision on Frank this morning," Kearney said.

"He'd love to play and we'd love to have him there but the stakes are as high as they get this weekend and he's not 100 per cent.

"It's naturally very tough for him to be this close and ruled out but we're very happy with our cover."

Kearney has also included Jason Nightingale in the squad to provide cover for first-choice wingers Vatuvei (groin) and Tuivasa-Sheck (leg).

New Zealand 19-man squad: Simon Mannering (capt), Jesse Bromwich, Greg Eastwood, Kieran Foran, Alex Glenn, Bryson Goodwin, Shaun Johnson, Sam Kasiano, Kevin Locke, Issac Luke, Ben Matulino, Jason Nightingale, Frank-Paul Nu'uausala, Elijah Taylor, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Manu Vatuvei, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dean Whare, Sonny Bill Williams.


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