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Foran loss causes more Kiwis changes

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/05/2016 James MacSmith

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney says his thoughts are with absent star Kieran Foran as the Kiwis prepare for Friday's rugby league Test against Australia.

Melbourne utility Tohu Harris has come into the Kiwis side at five-eighth in place of Parramatta captain Foran, out of the game for personal reasons after being hospitalised, reportedly for a prescription drug overdose.

Kearney, who is chasing a fourth successive win over Australia, said that is just one of a number of changes the Kiwis have been forced to make in Foran's absence.

"The Kieran situation is reminder for us all how fragile things can be," Kearney said on Monday.

He admitted to tactical changes flowing from losing the playmaker.

"The game plan will change to focus on the real strength we have in the forward pack," Kearney said.

"I know Tohu is a big five-eighth but he is very capable of fulfilling the game plan that we do have.

"He is part of a very strong club I know he will do a great job on executing what we are after.

"The strength of the group over the past few years has been being able to adapt to who we do have available.

"I know (halfback) Shaun (Johnson) and Tohu will do a great job for us. We will really take the contest to them on Friday night."

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