League: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is determined to regain his Kiwis Test jersey

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves hasn't played for the Kiwis since the 2013 World Cup. Photo / Photosport
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves hasn't played for the Kiwis since the 2013 World Cup. Photo / Photosport

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has opened up about "that black jersey" he lost three years ago - and now he wants it back.

With the Roosters already out of NRL finals contention, Waerea-Hargreaves has set his sights on winning selection for the Kiwis at the end of year Four Nations tournament.

Having not played for New Zealand since the 2013 World Cup in England, the 27-year-old revealed how he met up with coach Steve Kearney for dinner last week.

While you would think the Roosters enforcer would be a certainty to make the tour if he stays fit, it's been something of a mystery why he lost favour with Kearney in the wake of the World Cup.

The talk was that Waerea-Hargreaves' performances in Test football didn't stack up against what he has long produced for the Roosters.

But there is no doubt at his best few props in the game carry more weight, or respect.

"I haven't played since '13 so the fire has been burning," Waerea-Hargreaves said.

"That is definitely one of my main focuses, getting back in that black jersey for the end of the year.

"I spoke to Steve last week. We had a Sydney-based players dinner and it was really good to be back in the mix.

"There was 25 of us. It was good to catch up with the Kiwi brothers and it was just going over the back end of the year and what it is going to take to get back into that jersey."

Waerea-Hargreaves has just three weeks left to stamp his case starting with this Sunday's game against the Dragons, where he lines up against fellow Kiwi front-row contender Russell Packer.

"I have played with, against and actually caught up with him last week," Waerea-Hargreaves said of Packer. "He is a good guy.

"I have roomed with him in the past in the Kiwis camp."

Other contenders to partner Jesse Bromwich in the middle include Adam Blair, Sam Moa, Ben Matulino and Martin Taupau.

Waerea-Hargreaves probably would have got a call-up last year for the series against England but missed the tour after suffering a knee injury late in the season.

So far this year he has only played a total of 11 games.

But he held his own against Kangaroos props Matt Scott and James Tamou last Sunday in the win over North Queensland.

Returning from a two-week lay off, Waerea-Hargreaves led from the front as the Roosters pack overpowered the heavyweight reigning premiers.

Aside from his personal ambitions to make the Kiwi squad, he said the remaining games against St George Illawarra, Cronulla and Brisbane was also a good chance for the Roosters to finish the year on a high.

"It is just good to be back on the field and hopefully I can finish off on a positive note.

"When I was out there (against the Cowboys) it just felt like us. It is who we were out on that field.

"For these young guys to get a taste of the style of footy we play, it is just going to benefit them in the long run and benefit the team."

- news.com.au

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