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Cordner shocked by Waerea-Hargreaves snub

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/05/2017 Matt Encarnacion
Boyd Cordner scored the Roosters' first try. © Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Boyd Cordner scored the Roosters' first try.

Kangaroos star Boyd Cordner admits he is shocked by New Zealand's decision to overlook Roosters teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for Friday's Test match.

Warea-Hargreaves will be one of seven faces missing from the side beaten by Australia in last year's Four Nations final, including other regulars Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Jason Nightingale.

Cordner believed Waerea-Hargreaves was a lock to play in Canberra, almost one year after missing the corresponding fixture due to a knee reconstruction.

The 28-year-old returned in time to tour with the Kiwis last season, and has averaged 113 metres and 32 tackles in 53 minutes per game so far for the Roosters in 2017.

"I was a bit surprised. I think he's been playing some awesome footy this year," Cordner said.

"He's been a big part of our success at the start of the year. Another year on from his knee injury, I think he's getting a lot of his game back, where he left off."

But despite Waerea-Hargreaves' absence, Cordner is adamant the Kiwis squad presents a far more formidable challenge than the one they last met at Anfield.

Much of it has to do with the return of key playmakers Kieran Foran and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, as well as former Kiwis captain Simon Mannering.

"The players they have picked are all in form. They're a big, powerful team - they always are, New Zealand," Cordner said.

"With the addition of Kieran Foran there as well, and also Roger, its going to be massive for them. It's going to be a massive game on Friday. We're looking forward to it."

The main concern for the Kangaroos heading into the final Anzac Test is the health of Darius Boyd and Johnathan Thurston, who are battling hamstring and calf injuries respectively.

While Thurston completed the team's first field session on Tuesday, Boyd succumbed to a tight hamstring midway through the session and will be assessed during a rest day on Wednesday.

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