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Packer, Matulino announce international retirement

Wests Tigers forwards Russell Packer and Ben Matulino have confirmed their retirement from international football ahead of the upcoming Denver Test match.

Both forwards have confirmed their unavailability in a statement released by New Zealand Rugby League , which also confirmed that captain Simon Mannering would be retiring from the representative stage.

Matulino's seven year Kiwis career (2009-2015) saw him debut for the New Zealand team during the Four Nations 62-12 win over France. In 2010, he was part of the Four Nations winning Kiwis side and went on to play in the 2011 and 2014 Four Nations, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 ANZAC Tests.

He also played in five matches of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Packer debuted for the Kiwis in 2011 at a one-off Test against Australia in Newcastle en route to the Four Nations in the United Kingdom and following a turbulent period in his rugby league career, returned to international rugby league at the 2017 ANZAC Test. At the 2017 Rugby League World Cup he played in all four games for the Kiwis and now closes the curtain on his Kiwis career.

The pair will join Benji Marshall as Wests Tigers players not able to play for New Zealand in the upcoming Test match with the five-eighth expected to miss the next few weeks with a calf injury.

The likes of Elijah Taylor, Esan Marsters and Josh Aloiai all remain in contention for the squad.