Kiwi test players appear even more unlikely to back up from Saturday’s Denver test in the NRL this weekend after their flight home was delayed by electrical storms.

New Zealand were meant to fly back from Denver yesterday and land today, before storms left them grounded.

It now appears the team will not arrive home before Wednesday, just a day out from the opening game of round 16 when Leeson Ah Mau’s St George Illawarra play Parramatta.

The Warriors – who had Issac Luke, Peta Hiku and Ken Maumalo with the Kiwis – also play Friday night against Cronulla, with coach Stephen Kearney unsure whether he’ll play the trio.

Isaac Liu and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves also have their Sydney Roosters play in Adelaide on Friday night against Melbourne, who had Nelson Asofa-Solomona in Denver.

It’s understood England players left the country on schedule following the win.

The delays come after several NRL clubs largely opposed the test at first, given the nature of travel midway through the season and the short turnaround into this weekend’s round.

However the game was considered a success, with almost 20,000 fans in attendance to watch England’s 36-18 win at Mile High Stadium and Wayne Bennett backed the fixture’s future.

The Test is scheduled for the next two years, ahead of the 2025 Rugby League World Cup in the US and Canada.


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