Kiwis may lose points over hooker's status

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The Independent Online

New Zealand will accept any punishment handed down for playing Nathan Fien in the Tri-Nations when the hooker may have been ineligible, the New Zealand Rugby League chairman Sel Bennett said last night.

The Kiwis stand to lose Fien and possibly their two Tri-Nations points following a dispute over the eligibility of the Queensland-born player, who has appeared in two of their three games in the series so far, including the win over Great Britain in Christchurch on Saturday. But now New Zealand have admitted that Fien does not have a Kiwi grandmother, as was originally claimed, but only a great-grandmother.

Bennett had threatened to boycott the Kiwis' next match with Great Britain after the Lions coach, Brian Noble, had called for the home side to lose the two points for their win. But with the International Board of Rugby League due to meet via a conference call last night, Bennett said New Zealand would accept that body's finding.

"You do say things in the spur of the moment ... when they threaten your team."