The mystery over star forward Jason Taumalolo's role in the Kiwis deepens.
And the player himself appears bemused by the way coach David Kidwell has used him since the Four Nations warm-up match in Perth.
The Kiwis must aim for a big win over Scotland in Workington on Saturday morning in case England upsets Australia the following day.
But Taumalolo has been left out, with Kidwell selecting Greg Eastwood - who played just 15 minutes as a starting prop against the Kangaroos in Coventry - taking Taumalolo's place at lock.Taumalolo was under-used by Kidwell in Perth, yet was on the field a lot more than he is used to against England and Australia.
Taumalolo, the NRL player of the year, told Radio Sport Breakfast that he was hoping to play against Scotland.
Listen: Jason Taumalolo on the Radio Sport Breakfast
"I'm pretty disappointed I'm not playing - I'm not complaining but I would have liked to play alongside the boys," he said.
The Cowboys use the big lock between 45 and 60 minutes a game. He only played more than 70 minutes once during the 2016 NRL season, but played almost the entire game against England and 70 minutes against the Kangaroos.
Taumalolo said: "I'm more of a power based player having 20 to 30 minute spurts ...which would be the ideal way to use me. I can play longer minutes if needed but I'm used to having those spurts and a 10 minute break."
"I've got no idea what he's planning for the next week if we make the final...that's not my call but I fully trust him."
Eastwood made one run and 10 tackles in his strange cameo against Australia. Going into the final weekend, England has a 30 point points differential advantage over New Zealand. Unbeaten Australia head the table.