Kiwis the definite underdogs

The Kiwis players going into Saturday evening's test against the Kangaroos are described as 'dreadful' by former Kangaroo player Mark Geyer.

Geyer says New Zealand is going to struggle as he has not seen a team this bad in years.

In fact he believes it is the equivalent of a reserve grade side.

Geyer is stunned by some of the selections, and says he can not understand the halves pairing of Vinnie Anderson and Thomas Leuluai, while in the forwards, Jason Cayless will try hard, but will not put a dent in the opposition, while brother Nathan has barely played this season.

As for the Kiwis, the wrangling over second rower Tony Puletua continues.

The Kiwi is locked in a club versus country row with Penrith saying there is no way he is going on the tour to England as his ankle needs surgery.

Former All Black doctor John Mayhew will provide an independent assessment of Puletua's ankle on Thursday morning.

However NZRL general manager Peter Cordtz says the key now is to show if Puletua's surgery can be delayed and the injury managed properly.

Cordtz says Penrith's main concern is that if the surgery is delayed, Puletua will miss the start of the NRL season.

He says he understands Penrith's position, but the Kiwis also have contractual obligations to sponsors and organisers to field the strongest available side and Puletua is part of that.

However Penrith is standing firm.

Panthers chief executive Mick Leary says he has told the NZRL in no uncertain terms Tony Puletua will not go on the tour.

In other news, Motu Tony has secured his spot on the Kiwi bench following the birth of his baby yesterday morning.