The Kiwis say they're prepared for battle against Samoa on Saturday after a rollercoaster build up to their Rugby League World Cup campaign. Kiwis hooker Thomas Leuluai adamant the side is still a threat despite losing a host of experience including star forward Jason Taumalolo to Tonga. The 2008 world cup winner saying the Kiwis need to use their troubled start as motivation to galvanise the team.

“Like I said you have got guys who have played three or four NRL seasons now and been brought up in that sort of environment so  they’re already quite professional in what they do and they know their roles so it’s a matter of us coming together really.”

Ten Māori have been named in the side, with first-timer Ngāti Kahungunu Brad Takairangi set to start.