Former World Cup-winning captain Nathan Cayless has joined the Kiwis rugby league coaching staff as an assistant.
Head coach Michael Maguire confirmed Cayless would join Australian Ben Gardiner as his two assistants for the rugby league Test against England in Denver on June 23.
Former North Sydney Bears coach Gardiner‘s retention was announced earlier in the week while Junior Kiwis head coach Cayless‘s career takes another step up.
Former Parramatta Eels second-rower Cayless played 259 NRL matches in a 14-season career which ended in 2010.
The highlight of his 39 New Zealand internationals was leading them to victory at the 2008 World Cup.
Maguire said Cayless and Gardiner would provide ideal support in preparing the Kiwis for the contentious Test in Colorado.
He said there is no sign of player reluctance to play a match which will entail travel demands and performing at high altitude.
“Every single player I‘ve spoken to has really shown quite a bit of emotion about wanting to play for that jersey,” Maguire said.
“Part of doing that means having the right expertise around me – people that are just as hell-bent on putting pride into that Kiwis jersey as I am. These two are top blokes who I believe will do exactly that.”