Taupau backs Denver Test despite delays

Scott Bailey
Martin Taupau was a big fan of the Denver Test - despite the extended flight delays on the way back

Kiwi prop Martin Taupau would have no hesitation heading to the United States for future mid-year Tests despite his nightmare return trip home.

Taupau was forced to play for Manly in round 16 just two days after arriving back home from the Denver Test between New Zealand and England, thanks largely to two days of flight delays last month.

The last man to arrive back home following the mid-year Test, Taupau was first left stranded in Denver with his Kiwi teammates due to an electrical storm on the original return date of Sunday.

He was then booked on a flight out of Denver the following day but it was again delayed due to mechanical issues, forcing him to miss his connecting flight out of San Francisco to Sydney.

"It was very frustrating. Not the best position to be stuck in," Taupau said.

"I spent numerous hours over in the States and sleeping on the floor and stuff. Couldn't do much."

Taupau remains frustrated with United Airlines over their handling of the situation, after he hit out at the organisation over social media.

It didn't stop the 28-year-old from beating jet lag to help Manly overcome Penrith just two days after landing, before he was given time off during last week's bye round.

However if given the chance, Taupau said he would jump at the opportunity to play in the same game next year.

"If the opportunity came up again which I think it will - I'll definitely take it," he said.

"The first time it happened - the cancellation - we couldn't do much because it was an electrical storm.

"What happened after that is something we will definitely review and discuss to have a strategy in place to avoid these things.

"You don't want the players to be stuck overseas."

Taupau is likely to get his wish, with the Test locked in for the next two years despite opposition from some NRL coaches.

The game was also considered a success, with England and Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett backing the fixture's future ahead of the 2025 Rugby League World Cup in North America.