New Zealand Kiwis head coach Michael Maguire has today confirmed veteran forward Adam Blair has been brought into the squad for the World Cup Nines at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney starting tomorrow.
He arrived from Auckland early this morning in time for the team’s final training session at Leichhardt Oval before tomorrow night’s opening pool game against Australia (9.00pm kick-off local time).
Blair (33), with 48 Tests and 311 NRL appearances to his name, comes in for would-be debutant Braden Hamlin-Uele. The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks interchange forward will sit out the World Cup Nines to prepare for the Tests to follow against the Kangaroos and the Great Britain Lions.
Blair had an eventful last 24 hours before joining the team, flying home to Auckland just yesterday after a family holiday on the Gold Coast and then being booked on an early flight to Sydney today.
Earlier in the week Sydney Roosters forward Zane Tetevano and Canberra Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad replaced the unavailable James Fisher-Harris and Jordan Rapana.
NEW ZEALAND KIWIS | WORLD CUP NINES
LEESON AH MAU (Vodafone Warriors)
ADAM BLAIR (Vodafone Warriors)
*DYLAN BROWN (Parramatta Eels)
*COREY HARAWIRA-NAERA (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
JAMAYNE ISAAKO (Brisbane Broncos)
SHAUN JOHNSON (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks)
*JEREMY MARSHALL-KING (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
KEN MAUMALO (Vodafone Warriors)
*CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD (Canberra Raiders)
BRITON NIKORA (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks)
KODI NIKORIMA (Vodafone Warriors)
KEVIN PROCTOR (Gold Coast Titans)
*BAILEY SIMONSSON (Canberra Raiders)
*REIMIS SMITH (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
JOSEPH TAPINE (Canberra Raiders)
*ZANE TETEVANO (Sydney Roosters)