Eastwood ruled out for Kiwis

Leeds-bound forward Greg Eastwood has been ruled out of New Zealand’s team for their opening Gillette Four Nations match against Australia at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday night.

The 22-year-old Eastwood, who won his 10th cap at loose forward in the Kiwis’ 40-24 win over Tonga in Rotorua last week, has failed to recover from a hamstring injury.

Melbourne’s Adam Blair comes off the bench to take Eastwood’s number 13 jersey, while front rower Frank-Paul Nuuausala drops to the bench to make way for the return of Fuifui Moimoi, who will play his first international for two years.

The line-up is otherwise unchanged from the one that produced the sixth victory in Stephen Kearney’s nine Tests so far as Kiwi coach.

"Greg has been troubled by a tight hamstring this week," said Kearney. "We had hoped he’d recover but at this early stage of the tournament we don’t want to take a risk with it.

"While he’s out, it’s great to have Fuifui back in the New Zealand side. He’s been in great form in the NRL and is certainly one of the most exciting players in the game right now."

Wigan scrum half or hooker Thomas Leuluai, the only current Super League player in the Kiwis’ squad, will be on the bench.

New Zealand: L Hohaia; S Perrett (Sydney Roosters), S Matai (Manly), J Sa’u (Newcastle), B Goodwin (Canterbury Bulldogs); B Marshall (Wests Tigers, capt), N Fien (St George Illawarra); J Lima (Melbourne), I Luke (South Sydney), F Moimoi (Parramatta), B Harrison (Canberra), F Pritchard (Penrith), A Blair (Melbourne).

Subs: T Leuluia (Wigan), F-P Nuuausala (Sydney Roosters), I Soliola (Sydney Roosters), J Waerea-Hargreaves (Manly).