New Zealand lose Simon Mannering for Four Nations series
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 18/10/16 11:50am
Former New Zealand captain Simon Mannering has been ruled out of the Ladbrokes Four Nations Series.
The New Zealand Warriors back rower, who missed last year's Test series against England through injury, sat out last Saturday's international against Australia in Perth to give him an extra week to recover from a minor knee problem, but he has now withdrawn from the squad.
"He's up and running, but his knee isn't game ready," said Kiwis team doctor Greg Macleod.
"We have maintained regular contact with the NZ Warriors medical staff and we were optimistic that Simon would be ready for the tour. It turns out he needs a bit more time to make a full recovery."
Penrith Panthers forward James Fisher-Harris, 20, replaces Mannering in coach David Kidwell's 24-man squad, which will assemble in Auckland on Wednesday before setting off for England.
"Simon is a big loss for us," Kidwell said. "His leadership, experience and work ethic are really valuable, but I'm confident in my senior playing group to demonstrate those characteristics, on and off the field.
"James was really high on our list for the initial squad but narrowly missed out. We are fortunate to have this calibre of player to call on.
"He's come through the NZRL pathways and has performed at a very high level in the NRL. I'm looking forward to getting him in camp."
New Zealand begin the defence of their Four Nations crown against England at Huddersfield on Saturday October 29.