Crocked Henry out of Kiwis reckoning

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 17/08/2014
Ben Henry
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COOL HEADS: Ben Henry says the Warriors are trying to take a confident approach to the Panthers game.

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Ben Henry has ruled himself out of playing for the Kiwis in the Four Nations and will have an operation on his troublesome knee instead.

The 22-year-old made his debut for the Kiwis in the Anzac Test in April, playing hooker because Thomas Leuluai and Issac Luke were out injured.

Both should be back for the Four Nations, which New Zealand and Australia host in November, meaning Henry wouldn't have got a run in the No 9 jersey. However, he certainly would have been in contention for a spot at centre or in the second row, going by his Warriors form this season.

But Henry says he's made the tough call to bypass the Kiwis later this year and get his knee tidied up instead.

"I want to get my knee sorted first and foremost," Henry told Sunday News.

"When our season is over I'm going to get it cleaned out and fixed.

"Since I first did it in the Dragons game [in March] and had cartilage damage, I've been going week to week and have had to miss training sessions. I just want to get it fixed and done, so that next season I can hopefully play even better."

He did not want to risk more damage if selected for the Kiwis.

"I want to get my knee fixed, because if you look at how long the average footy career lasts, it's three years and I'm on my third year.

"I want to keep it going for as long as I can. So I'll get it fixed."

In the past, NRL clubs have been less than fantastic in managing the injuries of their players and that has often resulted in the Kiwis not being able to pick their best players for end-of-season tests.

There could be others ruled out of the Four Nations, and Warriors coach Andrew McFadden said he'll judge on an individual basis which players he allows to represent New Zealand.

"It depends on what they need done and whether they get picked," he said.

"I haven't made any decisions over that. I don't know who's going to get picked and I don't know who needs operations, I know a few who will, but we'll make those decisions with the players."

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