Kiwis race to get Moimoi up to speed


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The Independent Online

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.