MCCLENNAN CONGRATULATES EASTWOOD

Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McClennan was one of the first people to congratulate the Kiwis on their stunning World Cup success.

Leeds coach Brian McClennan was one of the first people to congratulate the Kiwis on their stunning World Cup success. McClennan masterminded New Zealand’s 24-0 victory over the Kangaroos in the 2005 Tri-Nations Series, which was the biggest upset in international rugby league until Steve Kearney’s side gained a 34-20 win in Brisbane to lift the World Cup for the first time. McClennan rang Leeds-bound Kiwis second rower Greg Eastwood within minutes of the final whistle at Suncorp Stadium to pass on his congratulations to the players. "It was good to hear from him," said the 21-year-old. "He’s proud to be a Kiwi and wished he could be here. "This will be one to look back on and tell your kids and grandkids that you were part of the World Cup-winning team." Saturday’s match may have marked the farewell appearance on Australian soil for the Brisbane Broncos forward – fittingly on his home ground – as he prepares to take up a three-year contract with the Super League champions. But Eastwood is hoping his performances in the World Cup will help keep him in the frame for future international selection, starting with next year’s Trans-Tasman Tests and the new-look Four Nations Series in the United Kingdom. "I’ll miss it but hopefully I can play well for Leeds and join up with the Kiwis again next year," he said.