SHAUN JOHNSON is hopeful of taking the pitch for the Kiwis in the Anzac test against Kangaroos on Friday despite worries over a leg injury.
The Warriors playmaker was chosen to replace Benji Marshall for the clash, but bruised his left knee during their loss to the Canberra Raiders at the weekend.
He took a limited role in training yesterday, with the leg also affected by a slight quad strain.
Johnson would undergo treatment until game day, but he was hopefully he would be able to play.
“I’m sweet to go. It’s feeling really good. I got through training, I’m feeling really confident,” he told Fairfax NZ.
“I didn’t aggravate it out there so I’m certainly feeling a lot better.”
He was brought in to replace Marshall after the star hurt his toe last week, and should he fail to recover, options to partner Kieran Foran in the halves are limited.
The experienced Thomas Leuluai was not picked because of personal reasons.
As a last resort, Elijah Taylor could move into the halves, having played there for the Warriors under-20 side.
The Kiwis have also lost Jeremy Smith, who was banned for a head-slam.
Kiwis: Josh Hoffman (Brisbane Broncos), Sam Perrett (Canterbury Bulldogs), Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters), Jason Nightingale (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Kieran Foran (Manly Sea Eagles), Shaun Johnson (NZ Warriors), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Issac Luke (South Sydney), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), Frank Pritchard (Canterbury Bulldogs), Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm), Simon Mannering (captain, NZ Warriors). Interchange: Elijah Taylor (NZ Warriors), Sam McKendry (Penrith Panthers), Ben Matulino (NZ Warriors), Alex Glenn (Brisbane Broncos). 18th man: Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm).