Fien made a Kiwi after false start

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The Independent Online

Nathan Fien, who was at the centre of New Zealand's "Grannygate" scandal two years ago, will get his chance as a legitimate Kiwi when the World Cup starts next weekend.

New Zealand had points deducted for fielding Fien during the 2006 Tri-Nations after the hooker's claim to have a Kiwi grandmother was revealed to be bogus.

Fien, who was born in Queensland, plays his club rugby in Auckland for the New Zealand Warriors and now qualifies for his adopted country by residence. He has been named in the starting line-up against Tonga in their warm-up match on Saturday, ahead of South Sydney's Isaac Luke, who is on the bench.

The only Super League player in the Kiwi squad, Wigan's Thomas Leuluai, gets his chance to cement his claim at scrum-half, while Lance Hohaia is at full-back in place of the injured Brent Webb.

Tonga are still threatening legal action against the game's International Federation over its ruling that Fuifui Moimoi and Taniela Tuiaki cannot play for them because they represented New Zealand last year.

Brisbane's Karmichael Hunt is the likely replacement for his club colleague, Justin Hodges, who needs a shoulder reconstruction. Hunt is primarily a full-back, a position Australia have well covered, but he can also play anywhere else from wing to stand-off if required. The Australian coach, Ricky Stuart, failed earlier in an approach for a more direct centre replacement, St George-Illawarra's Matt Cooper, who has a groin strain.

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