Fien decision adjourned

A decision on whether to penalise New Zealand for fielding an ineligible player in the Tri-Nations tournament has been adjourned until later today.

The executive committee of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) have conducted a phone hook-up to review the 'Grannygate' saga which called into question hooker Nathan Fien's eligibility to represent New Zealand.

The RLIF has delayed a final decision in order to give RLIF deputy chairman and UK rugby league boss Richard Lewis more time to review New Zealand's submission, which was presented to the tournament's governing body late yesterday. Another phone hook-up will be set up later today.

It is believed the Kiwis will be docked the two Tri-Nations points they earned in last week's 18-14 win over Great Britain in Christchurch, in which Fien started at hooker for New Zealand. Fien is also likely to be barred from representing the Kiwis for the remainder of the tournament.

Fien, born in Mt Isa, was initially ruled eligible to play for the Kiwis after presenting a birth certificate which showed his grandmother was born in New Zealand. But further investigation revealed it was Fien's great grandmother and not his grandmother's name on the birth certificate.

Tournament rules dictate that a player's parents or grandparents have to have been born in the adopted country for him to be able to switch allegiances.

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