Kiwis resist panic measures over scrum-half crisis

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The Independent Online

Instead, their coach Brian McClennan says they are likely to pick from their existing resources, with Motu Tony and David Faiumu the likely candidates. "Motu played on the wing for Hull in the Challenge Cup final, but he is relishing being closer to the action," he said. "David came through the grades as a half-back, so we're not as poor there as people might think."

The Kiwis tried out different combinations in training yesterday, although they have not completely ruled out an SOS to France or Huddersfield.

One complication is that Jones is due in New Zealand for the birth of his child at the time of the Tri-Nations final, which they will reach if they win or lose by less than 24 points on Saturday.

Like the Kiwis, Great Britain have delayed selecting their team, although Iestyn Harris is back in full training after a scan on his shoulder.

There will be one new name on the British team-sheet, with their captain Jamie Peacock asking to be known in future by his preferred name of James.

Craig Wing, who has flown in from Hawaii, has gone into Australia's team at hooker for their match against France on Saturday. With Danny Buderus rested and Trent Barrett injured, Craig Gower will captain a team in which Eric Grothe and Ben Creagh will make their debuts.

The Wigan coach, Ian Millward, has called for a reduction in the number of overseas players in the British game in order to strengthen the national side.

Clubs have a quota of three for next season, but there are so many exemptions that some clubs will be in double figures. Wigan themselves will have eight, but Millward would support a deal to slash those numbers. "What needs to happen is all the chairmen to reach a gentleman's agreement," he said.

Hull believe their Great Britain prop, Paul King, will stay with them despite being given permission to talk to Leeds.