Stomach bug hits Mannering ahead of test

CHRIS BARCLAY
Last updated 15:17 10/10/2012

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New Zealand Warriors captain Simon Mannering missed the Kiwis final training session at their Cairns base before heading to Townsville today although a stomach bug is not expected to rule him out of Saturday's trans-Tasman test against the Kangaroos.

Mannering, who is slated to start at lock sat out part of the Kiwis penultimate practice session yesterday after suffering from dehydration - and remained at the team hotel as the team went through their paces before taking a short flight south to the test venue.

A key member of the Warriors and Kiwis set-up, Mannering initially thought he had recovered yesterday afternoon but woke before dawn with an upset stomach.

He was keen to train as temperatures hovered in the high 20s but medical staff urged him to remain indoors to rest.

Team doctor Simon Mayhew was confident Mannering, the squad's most experienced test player, would be fit to earn his 30th cap at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

However, if he does not recover Adam Blair or Greg Eastwood would be promoted into the starting line-up and 18th man, prop Sam McKendry, would join the interchange bench.

The Kiwis have tomorrow off as they settle into Townsville and then hold a light captain's run on Friday.

Mannering aside, the remainder of the 19-man touring party got through three sessions in stifling heat without any issues as they acclimatise to Far North Queensland's tropical climate.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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