After Kieran Foran's absence from the World Cup was officially confirmed on Tuesday, thoughts turn to who could replace the veteran five-eighth.

Even though Foran has had an inconsistent season with the Warriors, he is vastly experienced at test level.

As a partnership, Foran and Shaun Johnson have played more tests together than any other Kiwis halfback pairing, and the duo was crucial to the three consecutive wins over the Kangaroos in 2014-2015.

But David Kidwell has some decent options to replace Foran in the No 6 jersey.


Te Maire Martin

The man in form.

He has been superb for the Cowboys since his mid-season move north, and has played a big part in their unlikely finals run.

The 21-year-old is starting to deliver on the promise that he showed for the Panthers early last season, before a shoulder injury.

Played one test for the Kiwis last year against Scotland, but wasn't considered for the 2016 Four Nations final, with Tohu Harris chosen as a stop-gap option in his place.

Has only played 24 NRL matches but is mature beyond his years.

Would be targeted by opposition forwards at test level, but is learning to handle himself defensively.

Thomas Leuluai

Was Kidwell's first choice option last year when Foran was unavailable.

Started at No6 in the end of season test in Perth, as well as the first three games of the Four Nations tour, before breaking his jaw in the Scotland match in Workington.

Leuluai offers tons of experience - he is one of a handful of survivors from the 2008 World Cup - and is a proven test match performer.

One of the best defenders in the game and has a good short kicking game, though Kidwell may choose to use him as a hooker at the World Cup.

Kodi Nikorima

The Broncos utility was used in the halves on the 2015 Kiwis tour of England, and also started at No6 for the 2016 Anzac test in Newcastle.

Defensively reliable, with a turn of pace and good acceleration over the first 10 or 20 metres.

Copes well under pressure and his finals experience over the past three years will be an asset.

Benji Marshall

The former Kiwis captain has a ton of experience and has enjoyed something of a career renaissance this year at the Broncos.

Offers a strong kicking game and still has a flair for the unexpected.

Isn't among the frontline contenders at the moment - with the selectors focussing on youth - but may come into the calculations if there are further injuries.

Tohu Harris

Both Kidwell and Stephen Kearney have used him as a five-eighth against the Kangaroos.

The back-rower is a talented player and can adapt to most positions with his diligent approach.

But it's a big ask at test level, and it was no surprise when he was exposed against the Australia in the Four Nations final last year.

Peta Hiku

The former Manly and Penrith utility, who is set to link up with the Warriors next year, wore the No6 jersey on the 2015 tour of England.

He made a decent fist of it, though his off the cuff style is more suited to a place in the outside backs.