Ben Murdoch-Masila ruled out for two months after surgery

Drew Darbyshire
Ben Murdoch-Masila. PA

New Zealand Warriors forward Ben Murdoch-Masila has been ruled out for up to eight weeks following surgery on a dislocated elbow.

The 31-year-old suffered the injury in a tackle with Cronulla Sharks full-back Will Kennedy in the first half of last weekend’s game.

Murdoch-Masila is expected to miss around eight weeks of action. He could return for the Warriors’ last two games of the regular NRL season.

Ben Murdoch-Masila could play in his third World Cup

The former Warrington and Salford favourite will be hoping to play in this year’s World Cup for Tonga. He has already played in two World Cups and has 13 caps to his name.

Murdoch-Masila will return to England if selected by Tonga coach Kristian Woolf. He was a fan’s favourite on the terraces at Salford and Warrington whilst he was in Super League between 2016-20.

The New Zealand-born forward scored 22 tries in 60 appearances for the Red Devils between 2016-17. He was named in the Super League Dream Team in 2017.

Murdoch-Masila then moved to the Wolves for three seasons between 2018-20. He scored 20 tries in 68 games in Primrose and Blue. He helped the Wire win the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2019.

New Zealand v Tonga: Squads confirmed for mid-season test

New Zealand and Tonga squads PA
Joseph Manu (left) and Daniel Tupou (right) have both been named in the New Zealand and Tonga squads respectively

New Zealand and Tonga have both confirmed star-studded squads packed with NRL talent for this year’s mid-season Pacific test ahead of the World Cup.

Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has named a 25-man wider squad to face their Pacific neighbours at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on June 25.

Parramatta Eels half-back Dylan Brown is expected to make his debut for New Zealand. He made the cut over Shaun Johnson and Kodi Nikorima.

Brown is one of eight potential debutants in the New Zealand squad, including Ronaldo Mulitalo, who represented the USA at the Nines World Cup in 2019.

The other potential debutants are Moses Leota (Panthers), Scott Sorenson (Panthers), Marata Niukore (Eels), Erin Clark (Titans), Griffin Neame (Cowboys) and Jordan Riki (Broncos).

Meanwhile, New South Wales Origin representatives Daniel Tupou and Kotoni Staggs have been named in the Tonga team. Tonga coach Kristian Woolf has confirmed a 25-man squad. Tupou and Staggs are named to start on the wing and at half-back respectively.

Manly’s Haumole Olakau’atu and Cronulla’s Siosifa Talakai are also in the Tonga squad. The pair are in contention to play in Origin II.

Under international eligibility rules, players can play for both their state and Tonga.

Tonga will be coached by Dean Young for this mid-season test, with Woolf on Super League duties with champions St Helens.

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