Thomas Leuluai expressed his anger that he was prevented from helping New Zealand complete their gripping 17-16 win over England in the Ladbrokes Four Nations Series.
The New Zealand Warriors scrum-half, who is returning to Wigan for 2017, was brought off on 52 minutes for a concussion assessment after taking a head knock and was refused back on.
“I feel fine to be honest,” he said after the match at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium. “I’m quite angry that the doctor wouldn’t let me back on.
“I actually feel perfect so he’s most probably done the best thing for me. He was doing his job but, as a player and a competitor, you want to get back out there.”
A New Zealand spokesman said Leuluai was kept off as a precaution and will undergo a proper diagnosis in the next 36 to 48 hours to determine his availability for the Kiwis’ next match against Australia in Coventry next Saturday.
Leuluai insists his team’s work is not finished with the win over England.
“It was a tough-fought win,” he said. “I thought a lot of people wrote us off so it’s pretty pleasing.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up, so for us it’s about staying grounded.”