New Zealand have lost a fourth member of their initial 43-strong train-on squad for the Four Nations Series.
Already without half-back Kieran Foran because of injury, his Manly Sea Eagles’ team-mate Steve Matai through suspension and New Zealand Warriors’ Ukuma Ta’ai after he switched his allegiance to Australia, the Kiwis have now withdrawn another Manly player, winger Tony Williams, after he was selected for the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII.
The selectors had included the former Tonga international in their original squad, subject to confirming his eligibility with the International Federation, but the final decision has been taken out of their hands.
“We are interested only in players who have a passion to play for the Kiwis,” said New Zealand RL chief executive Jim Doyle.
The Kiwis begin their international programme with a first-ever Test against Samoa in Auckland on October 16 and open their Four Nations campaign against in Wellington a week later.