Kiwis Could Lose Points


Nathan Fien – who was brought into the squad as a replacement for David Solomona – is at the centre of the controversy, having claimed eligibility through a Kiwi grandmother.

However, New Zealand Rugby League chairman Sel Bennett now admits that Fien was selected on the basis of a Wangaui-born great-grandmother, which is not enough for him to represent the country.

The Rugby Football League have called for more information to assess the situation, a spokesman confirming: "We are currently receiving information from New Zealand on the player and we will consider the matter further when we receive all the information."

Australian chief executive Geoff Carr said that the situation would be discussed by the game’s international executive and, if Fien was ruled to be ineligible, the Tri-Nations sub-committee would decide what action would be taken.

He also said that RFL executive chairman Richard Lewis had been contacted about the incident; with Lewis and Bennett making up the sub-committee along with ARL chairman Colin Love.

Fien made his debut off the bench in last week’s 20-15 loss to Australia despite having represented Queensland in State of Origin five years ago.

The 27-year-old player has played for New Zealand Warriors for the last two years but does not yet qualify for the national side on residency grounds.