Internationals Hohaia's Position Unclear


From 11/04

Hohaia's position unclear
11 April 2006

New Zealand rugby league coach Brian McClennan is sending out mixed messages on Lance Hohaia's selection chances as he faces a dire shortage of top-class halfbacks for the Anzac test against Australia on May 5.

Yesterday McClennan made three differing remarks about his thoughts on Warriors utility player Hohaia's chances of filling the No 7 jersey. The position has been left vacant by injured overseas-based player Stacey Jones, and is unable to be filled by an injured Benji Marshall or Karmichael Hunt, who has yet to pledge his allegiance to the Kiwis.

"We're looking for people that have got a general kicking game and whether they're six, seven or nine it doesn't matter, somebody that's got a good long kicking game," McClennan told NZPA.

McClennan told One News he now considered Hohaia a hooker and a player who could become the best in the business in that position. He believed Hohaia should be starting for the Warriors at hooker and his speed out of the ruck made him a better player than current Warriors No 9 George Gatis.

But McClennan also told NZPA yesterday that Hohaia was one of his options at halfback for the Brisbane test at Suncorp Stadium.

McClennan then told 3 News he would find it hard to pluck a player out of a non-NRL club, like a Bartercard Cup franchise, for any position in his 17-man squad.

Hohaia played at hooker for the Warriors in their opening two National Rugby League matches this year before being dropped to the Bartercard Cup, where he has played two stunning games at halfback. He is currently waiting on results of an MRI scan conducted last night on an injured knee.

"We're facing a bit of a difficult one here," McClennan said.

"There's no one playing halfback that's eligible for the test match in the NRL at the moment."

McClennan will name his squad on April 30. He felt that would give him sufficient time to prepare his squad.
Hopefully Hohaia can find some form very fast because I cant see Hunt pledging allegance to the Kiwis. Come on lance you can do it.
one-eyed-warrior said:
Hopefully Hohaia can find some form very fast because I cant see Hunt pledging allegance to the Kiwis. Come on lance you can do it.
find some form? hes been carving up in bartercard.. hopefully he gets a run in the warriors soon at least for the kiwis sake
But it's a big step up from Bartercard Cup to International level against the best team in the would be great if he got picked in the Warriors team and had a few games to show how good he is.

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