AAP Rugby

Bellamy upset on timing of US Test

By AAP Newswire

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has slammed the timing of the Denver Test which has seen a number of NRL teams unsure if their Kiwi players will be available for this round.

The Storm are preparing for their Friday night clash with the Sydney Roosters in Adelaide with Bellamy saying he had no clue where prop Nelso Asofa-Solomona was or when he will arrive home.

"I don't know what the hell is going on to be quite honest," Bellamy said on Tuesday.

"I don't know when he's going to be back, whether he's back for the game or not.

"There's a big chance he won't even play."

While issues with flights have delayed the return of the Kiwi players, Bellamy questioned why the Test between New Zealand and England couldn't have been held at the end of the NRL season.

"I'm not quite sure why they had this Test at this time of the year.

"It's not my decision but it's not ideal to have guys playing over there so far away and then be late back for our game."

The Storm are desperate to have Asofa-Solomona back following news that fellow prop Sam Kasiano is out for up to 10 weeks after rupturing his PCL while Jesse Bromwich and Dale Finucane are also sidelined.

The Roosters' Isaac Liu and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves are also due to play on Friday night giving them just two days back in the country to prepare.

"Nelson is a fairly important part of our team, so not to have him back because he can't get a plane back from the other side of the world - I don't think that's ideal," Bellamy said.

Players were booked on different flights on Tuesday, with arrivals into Australia and New Zealand on Wednesday however Manly prop Martin Taupau remained stranded in the US after his re-scheduled flight was delayed due to mechanical issues.

The Kiwi Test team's flights were cancelled on Monday (AEST) due to an electrical storm.

Taupau, who is expected to run out for Manly on Saturday against Penrith, took to Twitter on Tuesday to complain about a fresh delay which is likely to make him miss a connecting flight to Sydney from San Francisco.

"Another F***ING delayed flight which is highly likely to be cancelled due to mechanical issues," Taupau tweeted.

The delays haven't affected members of the England team, who flew home immediately after defeating the Kiwis on Sunday (AEST).

However they mean St George Illawarra forward Leeson Ah Mau is set to arrive back in the country on Wednesday, just one day before his team's clash with Parramatta.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor has already said he'll take a cautious approach with team selection for the Eels clash, given the effects of their heavy representative load.

North Queensland five-eighth Te Maire Martin is yet to arrive back in Townsville ahead of their Sunday clash with Souths, also frustrating Cowboys coach Paul Green.