The Kiwis have suffered a blow to their chances of winning next week’s Test against Australia after second-rower Jason Taumalolo was ruled out with a knee injury.
The 21-year-old suffered medial ligament damage early in his North Queensland Cowboy’s 26-24 win over Newcastle on Saturday.
Initial prognosis from Cowboys medical staff was that Taumalolo would be out for 6-8 weeks.
He will definitely miss the Test in Brisbane on Friday, with coach Stephen Kearney to announce his squad later on Sunday after the completion of NRL round eight matches.
This week Kearney described powerhouse forward Taumalolo as among the premier forwards in the NRL this season.