Hohaia England bound

Lance Hohaia is set to tour with the Kiwis' for the English leg of the Tri-Nations rugby league series after favourable results from a scan today.

Hohaia was medi-cabbed off midway through New Zealand's 38-28 upset over Australia in the tournament opener in Sydney on Saturday night with ruptured ligaments in his left ankle.

He has been ruled out for the return match between the trans-Tasman foes in Auckland on Friday night.

But Hohaia was hopeful of being available for the second of the two tests against Great Britain, at Huddersfield on November 12.

He said the injury he suffered usually took five to six weeks to heel, but team medical staff felt he could be back on the field before then.

"Obviously I'm still on crutches and the ankle is still swollen and sore," he said.

"But once that goes away, we can start getting into it and try to accelerate the rehab."

The 22-year-old admitted he feared the worst when he wrenched the ankle in what was his seventh test appearance, but his first since 2002, the year he made his Kiwi debut.

"I heard a sound at the time, sort of like a pop, and I knew it wasn't healthy," he said.

"It's good there were no broken bones and there was no surgery required. I'm pretty happy that it was just soft tissue."

However his delight in being able to go to England with the Kiwis was balanced by his disappointment in missing the return test against the Kangaroos.

"I have a lot of family who are going to come and, being at Ericsson Stadium, my home ground, I was really keen to play," he said.

"But these things happen in football and hopefully there will be another chance. I just have to bide my time till then."

Coach Brian McClennan praised Hohaia's dummy half work before he went off at Telstra Stadium and said the Kiwis wanted him in England.

"We want Lance to tour," he said. "He was doing a great job on Saturday night and, had he not got hurt, I think we would have gone better. He was starting to get out of dummy half and making them sweat."

McClennan said Hohaia's chances of being back in action before the Tri-Nations tournament was over were good.

"The medical staff are going a great job. Lance will be fine."

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