Sick Australians have until Friday

Australia’s quartet of sick players have until Friday to prove their fitness for the Four Nations final – with boss Tim Sheens admitting they can’t afford to take a risk over anyone’s fitness ahead of a huge game.

After Greg Inglis was cleared to play in the opener against New Zealand – before leaving the field at half-time due to the ill effects of the same virus currently plaguing the camp – Sheens is not prepared to take a chance on anyone. Cooper Cronk, Daly Cherry-Evans, Sione Mata’utia, David Klemmer and Beau Scott are the players in question, but Scott (hamstring) is the only player not to be selected for Saturday’s final.

“If guys are too sick to train the last session, then we’ll definitely leave them out,” Sheens said. “They’ve got faith in the medical staff and they’ve had these things before. If you play football you know a flu or a bug can go through the place. Most of them have played with something of that nature.

“It depends how badly they’ve picked it up. I have to judge whether or not we pick the players based on how they are. I’m going to be a little sensitive about that after game one with Greg.”

Sheens has described the preparation for the game as the worst he has endured since taking charge of the nation back in 2009.