Kiwis race to get Moimoi up to speed
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Friday 11 November 2011
New Zealand are expecting to unleash the double-barrelled artillery of Fuifui Moimoi on England on Saturday. The Parramatta prop lasted just a few minutes of the Kiwis' victory over Wales last weekend, before going off with neck and shoulder injuries.
Moimoi, one of the most destructive runners in the NRL, is badly needed for the match against the English at Hull, which will decide who plays Australia in the Gillette Four Nations final. They are already without another prop, Sam McKendry, who suffered a multiple fracture of the jaw during the win over the Welsh. That means that the fitness of Moimoi is vital. He trained with the rest of the squad yesterday, but was kept out of the physical work.
The New Zealand coach, Stephen Kearney, is still determined to leave it until an hour before kick off to name his side. The tournament rules say that coaches must name a squad 48 hours before the game, but neglect to say a squad of how many, so they could simply name everyone available.
The former Great Britain centre, Martin Aspinwall, now a back-row forward, has signed a one-year contract with Hull after being released by Castleford. Aspinwall attracted interest from other clubs, but said that once Hull entered the bidding, they were the team he wanted to play for. He replaces Sam Obst, who has been released.
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