Michael Jennings ruled out of Kiwi test

James Gordon

Parramatta centre Michael Jennings has been ruled out of the Tonga squad for their test match against New Zealand through injury.

Jennings, 31, suffered a knee injury in the Eels’ win over Brisbane and will miss the game at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.

His brother Robert Jennings and Titans’ prop Moeaki Fotuaika have also been released from the squad.

Tonga head coach Kristian Woolf: “It is a shame to lose Michael because he has really been playing well for Parramatta.

“He has also brought wonderful experience to our side through the 2017 World Cup and in Tests last year.

“But we have some quality centres in our squad in Solomone Kata and Kotoni Staggs, so I know we can fill the hole left by Michael’s injury.”

Jennings won seven caps for Australia between 2009 and 2015, but played for Tonga at the 2008 and 2017 World Cups.

He has made more than 250 appearances in the NRL for Parramatta, Sydney Roosters and Penrith Panthers.

Meanwhile, New Zealand have confirmed veteran half-backs Benji Marshall and Kieran Foran in their 19-man squad.

The pair were initially included in a 27-man group named on Thursday night but have now moved a step closer to the prospect of a return to the test arena.

Marshall, 34, last played for the Kiwis back in 2012, against Australia, captaining the side in what was his 27th test.

Tonga squad: John Asiata (North Queensland), Manase Fainu (Manly), Andrew Fifita (Cronulla), Addin Fonua-Blake (Manly), David Fusi’tua (NZ Warriors), Siliva Havili (Canberra), Tui Lolohea (Leeds), Will Hopoate (Canterbury), Solomone Kata (NZ Warriors), Sione Katoa (Penrith), Manu Ma’u (Parramatta), Tevita Pangai Junior (Brisbane), Kotoni Staggs (Brisbane), Tevita Tatola (South Sydney), Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Sydney), Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland), Peni Terepo (Parramatta), Daniel Tupou (Sydney), Sitili Tupouniua (Sydney)

New Zealand squad: Leeson Ah Mau (NZ Warriors), Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne), Kenneath Bromwich (Melbourne), James Fisher-Harris (Penrith), Kieran Foran (Canterbury), Jahrome Hughes (Melbourne), Shaun Johnson (Cronulla), Isaac Liu (Sydney), Joseph Manu (Sydney), Benji Marshall (Wests), Esan Marsters (Wests), Ken Maumalo (NZ Warriors), Briton Nikora (Cronulla), Brandon Smith (Melbourne), Zane Tetevano (Sydney), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (NZ Warriors), Jared Waerea-Hargreves (Sydney), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Canterbury).