In a less than ideal start to David Kidwell’s tenure as coach, former Kiwis captain Simon Mannering will watch this week’s trans-Tasman test against Australia in Perth from the couch as he recovers from minor knee surgery.
The 30 year-old had a clean-out operation on his knee last month after the Warriors season ended and will remain in Auckland while the rest of the 24-man squad assemble in Perth for the match against the Kangaroos.
Compounding the Kiwis’ stunted preparation for the trans-Tasman test and the Four Nations, Melbourne Storm back-rower Kevin Proctor is also yet to join the squad.
A Kiwis spokesperson said the confrontational veteran had been given an extra week to continue his recovery from the surgery while Proctor is expected to arrive in camp tomorrow.
Mannering will resume his duties and meet up with the Kiwis in Auckland next week before flying out to the UK for the eagerly awaited Four Nations which kicks off at the end of the month.