Kiwis struck by major blow as Super League target injured as ex-Wigan Warriors boss compares World Cup to career highlights

New Zealand and Australia are set to do battle in the Rugby League World Cup semi-final tomorrow at Leeds United’s Elland Road in what should be one of the greatest semi-finals in the tournament’s history.

Mal Meninga has shed no light on who will start between Nathan Cleary and Daly Cherry-Evans in the big talking point of the Australia squad whilst Ben Hunt returns.

As for New Zealand, former Wigan Warriors boss Michael Maguire will be without star prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves due to a hamstring injury but Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has gotten over a hamstring injury to be selected in the 19-man squad.

Here is the New Zealand squad in full:

Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jesse Bromwich (captain), Kenny Bromwich, Dylan Brown, James Fisher-Harris, Kieran Foran, Peta Hiku, Jahrome Hughes, Moses Leota, Isaac Liu, Joseph Manu, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Briton Nikora, Isaiah Papali’i, Jordan Rapana, Brandon Smith, Joseph Tapine, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Maguire has been very open about how much he has loved this experience at the Rugby League World Cup describing it as one of the highlights of his career.

“Right up there,” he said to Fox League, “It’s been a pleasure to coach this group of players.

“They’ve been building and changing the way they want to be seen and the culture of the Kiwis jersey. Now is a great opportunity for the boys to really show themselves.”

If he leads his side to victory on Friday he will return to the site of one of his other career highlights: Old Trafford where he helped Wigan Warriors to Super League Grand Final success against St Helens in 2010.

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