The Kiwis may have already suffered a major loss to the Kangaroos before next week's Trans-Tasman Test with reports young sensation Kalyn Ponga has committed his playing future to Australia as well as Queensland.
Ryley Jacks of the Storm tackles Kalyn Ponga of the Cowboys in the Downer NRL Auckland Rugby League Nines.
The Courier Mail reports that New Zealand management have been informed Ponga will pledge his allegiance to the Maroons and Australia.
Ponga, who is eligible to play representative league for both New Zealand and Australia, opted not to play for either country last year in the under 20s section while he seemingly made up his mind.
The Kiwis had an eye on the 19-year-old for the World Cup at the end of the year and may have been named as an extended squad member for next week's match.
Kalyn Ponga at the Kiwis Open Training Session.
Ponga created headlines last year when he opted to leave the North Queensland Cowboys at the end of this year's NRL season for a record five-year, $3.23 million deal with the Newcastle Knights - the largest contract offered to a teenager in NRL history.
Queensland under 20s coach Justin Hodges says Ponga has a bright future, but is worried he may have accelerated his career too quickly.
"If he keeps on the path he's on now there is no doubt he will play Origin," he said.
"The big question is when he goes to Newcastle, hopefully he can still continue to learn and evolve into a great Origin player.
"I still think if he stayed at the Cowboys he would have learnt a lot more off (Johnathan Thurston) and those guys than he will by himself at Newcastle."
The Kiwis and Kangaroos name their squads for next week's Test later this week.