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Kiwis enforcer eyes England forwards

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/10/2016 Angelo Risso

Kiwis enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has declared his side's opening Four Nations fixture against England a must-win game.

Waerea-Hargreaves, 27, returned to the Kiwis set-up after three years away in last fortnight's 26-6 loss to Australia in Perth.

He is now expected to spearhead the side's tilt at a second successive Four Nations title, starting in Huddersfield on Saturday.

The Roosters gun and fellow prop Jesse Bromwich will go toe-to-toe with NRL-based English pair Sam Burgess and James Graham, but said he was focusing on himself.

"In the middle in all these games coming up, it's going to be quite physical and that starts on Saturday," Waerea-Hargreaves said.

"When you worry about the opposition, you get caught up emotionally and the game gets away from you."

The Kangaroos impressed in their win over a limp Kiwis outfit in Perth, while England at home are likely to prove formidable.

Waerea-Hargreaves said his side would need to win against the English to maximise their chances of reaching the final at Anfield.

"We're definitely approaching this game as a must-win, and we will also next week and the week after that," Waerea-Hargreaves said.

"It's important for us to go into each game with that sort of mentality."

The Rotorua-born Waerea-Hargreaves made 17 appearances for his country to 2013 but was overlooked by ex-boss Stephen Kearney after that year's World Cup.

A serious knee injury at the back end of 2015 then dashed his hopes of a recall for last year's tour of England.

New Zealand lost that series 2-1, prolonging a decade-long stint without Test series success on British soil.

Waerea-Hargreaves said he was hungrier than ever to perform in the black jumper and break a 10-year series hoodoo.

"I've always found the Kiwis are the pinnacle for myself and my family, I'm a proud Kiwi and I'm looking forward to representing the jersey," he said.

"To be back in camp is very humbling."

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