Swine flu hits Goulding's France plans for Kiwi test
Saturday 31 October 2009
The France coach, Bobbie Goulding, has been given permission to delay naming his side for tonight's Four Nations match with New Zealand in Toulouse partly because of an outbreak of swine flu.
Goulding has four players injured following the creditable display against England last weekend, David Ferriol suspended and Dimitri Pelo trying to shake off the H1N1 virus. The coach has drafted in the New Zealand-born pair, Artie Shead and Andrew Bentley, who qualify through residency, but will not finalise his side until this afternoon.
The Kiwis are without Bronson Harrison and Jeff Lima with injuries, so promote the St Helens-bound Iosia Soliola to the starting line-up and bring in Greg Eastwood and the debutant Sam Matulino.
The finalists in the European Cup will be known tomorrow, after Wales play Ireland in Pontypridd and Scotland meet Lebanon in Glasgow.
On the other side of the world, Papua New Guinea face the Cook Islands in the final of the Pacific Cup, with a place in next year's Australian-based Four Nations the prize for the victors.
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