Rugby League World Cup: New Zealand winger Manu Vatuvei out of England clash

Last Updated: 21/11/13 4:15pm

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Jason Nightingale: Wembley start for Kiwis' winger

Jason Nightingale: Wembley start for Kiwis' winger

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New Zealand winger Manu Vatuvei has been ruled out of Saturday's World Cup semi-final against England at Wembley.

The 27-year-old New Zealand Warrior, who has scored 17 tries in 23 appearances for the Kiwis, including four in one match against England in the 2008 World Cup, has failed to recover from a groin injury sustained in last Friday's 40-4 quarter-final win over Scotland.

Vatuvei is set to be replaced in the team by St George Illawarra winger Jason Nightingale, who will be making only his second appearance of the tournament but wins his 19th cap.

Nightingale's solitary World Cup outing so far came in the 48-0 victory over France in Avignon when Vatuvei was rested due to a knee injury.

Locke starts

New Zealand Warriors full-back Kevin Locke has been handed the No 1 jersey ahead of Brisbane's Josh Hoffman, while second-rower Alex Glenn is included as cover for the Kiwis' other injury doubt Frank Pritchard.

Head coach Stephen Kearney said: "I thought Kevin had a really good match (against Scotland) last week. For this game, I thought this was the best choice for the group. He deserved the opportunity.

"Manu hasn't run at all this week. There was a chance that he could have been right for Saturday but we would have had to wait right up until the last minute.

"With what's at stake, I wanted to give Jason Nightingale a full week's preparation on the wing, so he could get his mind around playing.

"I know Jason is a tremendous footballer and it's certainly hard to leave him off your team list when you're picking a team. He'll do a wonderful job for us."

New Zealand's 19-man squad: J Bromwich (Melbourne), K Foran (Manly), A Glenn (Brisbane), B Goodwin (South Sydney), S Johnson (NZ Warriors), S Kasiano (Canterbury Bulldogs), K Locke (NZ Warriors), I Luke (South Sydney), S Mannering (NZ Warriors, capt), B Matulino (NZ Warriors), S Moa (Sydney Roosters), J Nightingale (St George Illawarra), F-P Nuuausala (Sydney Roosters), F Pritchard (Canterbury Bulldogs), E Taylor (NZ Warriors), R Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters), J Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), D Whare (Penrith), S B Williams (Sydney Roosters).

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