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Kangaroos on high alert for Foran, RTS

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/05/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Second-rower Boyd Cordner admits Australia's defence will have to come up with a different approach to combat a new-look New Zealand line-up for Friday's rugby league Test. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Second-rower Boyd Cordner admits Australia's defence will have to come up with a different approach to combat a new-look New Zealand line-up for Friday's rugby league Test. Second-rower Boyd Cordner admits Australia's defence will have to come up with a different approach to combat a new-look New Zealand line-up for Friday's rugby league Test. 

The Kangaroos will on Tuesday take to the training field for the first time since arriving in Canberra, with a big focus on how to shut down their full-strength spine.

At least seven changes will be made to the Kiwis side that was walloped in the Four Nations final last year, including the return of stars Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Kieran Foran.

It will be the first time the pair will reunite with current Warriors playmakers Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke since the Kiwis upset Australia in the corresponding fixture two years ago.

Cordner saw firsthand just how tough the quartet will be after the Sydney Roosters lost a heartbreaker against the Warriors just two days ago in Auckland.

"They've picked a couple of new faces there. But I think the players they have picked are all in form. They're a big, powerful team, they always are," Cordner said on Tuesday.

Asked whether Australia's defensive approach needed to change compared to their previous matches against their trans-Tasman neighbors, Corder said: "I suppose it does. "Them players add a lot of attacking form to their team. I thought (the Four Nations final) was tough - it was in the balance early on in that final and we scored a couple of good tries.

"But it was a tough game early on. The likes of Roger and Kieran and a couple of new faces, they're players that are in form, it's definitely going to be a lot harder."

After testing his calf on Monday, Kangaroos five-eighth Johnathan Thurston will also participate in training and is likely to make a decision on his fitness on Wednesday morning.

The North Queensland skipper has missed the past three matches for the Cowboys in the NRL, however, Cordner remains confident Thurston will take on the Kiwis.

"Anyone who knows Johnno, or had anything to do with him, he's a competitor. I think he was close to playing against Parra," he said.

"He trained yesterday and he said he pulled through okay. We've got another session today, so he reckons if he gets through that, he should be sweet."

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