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Are The British Based Players Worth It ?
New Zealand national coach, Daniel Anderson is faced with a dilema of sorts. He must decide if time constraints will make it worth his while to bring current Kiwi team members, utility Robbie Paul, fullback Richie Barnett, wingers Lesley Vainikolo and Tevita Vaikona and centre Shontayne Hape back from Great Britain to join the Kiwi squad for the NZ-Australia test in Sydney on July 25th.
The players are set to play in an English club match between the Bradford Bulls and Hull FC on the Monday morning (NZ time) before the Friday night test. Anderson said if he decided to include them, they wouldnt get to Sydney until the Wednesday before the game.
"That makes it very difficult," Anderson said. "We've (New Zealand Rugby League) requested if the game (Bradford v Hull FC) can be shifted to Friday to accommodate travel plans for those who might be in the Kiwis. But it all depends on TV arrangements and TV is very powerful in British league."
Anderson feels there should be some agreement in place between the NZRL and ESL regarding player availability for test matches. Anderson is using Huddersfield Giants coach, Tony Smith as his chief scout in England.
Despite using newspaper advertisments in Australia to recruit off shore, NZ born players to apply for playing positions in the Kiwis, Anderson does not think there will be too many surprises when his side is announced.
"It was just something I and and the New Zealand Rugby League thought was worth following ?- seeing whether players were aware of what the requirements were to play for an international side and if they had the appropriate lineage or heritage," Anderson said.