Kiwis face tough tour schedule

The Kiwis face a tough slog of seven matches in six weeks in four different countries following the addition of a non-test game against England to their Tri-Nations tour of Britain.

The release of the Kiwis' full schedule will have done little to alleviate concerns of player burnout which have driven two NRL clubs to withdraw their Kiwis stars.

The extra fixture against England, slotted in between the two tests against Great Britain, will be on November 6 in Warrington.

Rugby Football League spokesman John Huxley said the match would not have test status but caps would be awarded to the England players.

"Whether the New Zealand Rugby League awards caps will be up to them," Huxley said.

The Kiwis' commitments begin with the Tri-Nations opener against the Kangaroos in Sydney on October 15, followed by the return match in Auckland six days later.

They then head for England, where they arrive on October 24, giving them just fours days to prepare for the test against Great Britain at Loftus Rd in London.

They play England the next week, followed by the return test against Great Britain in Huddersfield on November 12.

The Kiwis are expected to make up the bulk of an Anzac side to play France in Toulouse on November 18 because Australia will be playing their second match against Great Britain in Hull the next day.

Should the Kiwis qualify, they will then have to front up for the Tri-Nations final at Elland Rd in Leeds on November 26.

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