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Broken jaw ruled Leuluai out of Kiwis Test

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/05/2017 By Ian Laybourn
Thomas Leuluai © Getty Images/Bradley Kanaris Thomas Leuluai

England-based Thomas Leuluai says he was set to play for the Kiwis against Australia this month before breaking his jaw for the second time in five months.

The 31-year-old Wigan half has missed three Super League matches because of the injury, which also ruled him out of the Kiwis' loss to Australia in Canberra.

Super League-based players have been ignored by the Kiwis in recent years but it appears that wouldn't have been the case with 35-Test playmaker Leuluai.

A telephone call from the New Zealand selectors provided him with reassurances that he remains part of their plans despite returning to England following a four-season spell with the New Zealand Warriors.

"I had a chat with them and I would have gone over for it, definitely, if I'd have been fit," Leuluai said.

"I think every player should take the opportunity to play for their country.

"I know the timing's not right and it's a bit of a hassle flying that far but it was the same for the English boys and I think playing that one game (against Samoa in Sydney) will really help them going into the World Cup."

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