Former NZ Kiwis captain Duane Mann has raised doubts over David Kidwell's pedigree to coach the national side to victory over Australia in the last Anzac Test tonight.
Mann told Radio Sport's Martin Devlin that Kidwell risked being overmatched by Kangaroos counterpart Mal Meninga in Canberra, having already lost three times to the Aussies in his short international head coaching career.
Kidwell, a 25-test veteran for the Kiwis as a player, took over the coaching reigns, when predecessor Stephen Kearney accepted the coaching role at NZ Warriors late last year, and guided New Zealand to the Four Nations final in November.
"I'm starting to lose the faith in David Kidwell," said Mann, who fronted 29 times for his country.
"He's a great guy, a champion bloke, but if they can't win this test, David's tenure as Kiwi coach will be very short."
Mann also questioned the composition of the Kiwis coaching staff, which included Australian and former Warriors assistant Justin Morgan for the Four Nations and now former England coach and current Warriors assistant Steve McNamara.
"This coaching staff are under real pressure, because I just can't see a lot there.
"I haven't seen improvements. I've just got a feeling that if they can't do well in this match and win it, it's going to be a tough road ahead for David and the decision he's made to bring in a guy like Steve McNamara.
"They've put a lot of time and effort into the Kiwi culture, as they say, and I just can't see how Steve McNamara adds to that."
Mann defended Kidwell's coaching ability, but hinted he was out of his depth at this level, having spent two years as Kearney's assistant. Kidwell has also coaching the Junior Kiwis and held various coaching roles at Melbourne Storm and Wests Tigers.
"David can coach, there's no doubt he can coach," said Mann. "But as Kiwi coach, I don't think he's ready for it.
"You can influence the game at any time when you're coaching, and Mal has guys like Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Jonathan Thurston, who will manage the game out on the field.
"But the Kiwis have some gaps in that ability and David has to have some influence at stages of the game.
"I just doubt that he is up to it at head coach level with this international side. "