Kiwis coach has 'moved on' and refuses to dwell on Waerea-Hargreaves and Williams.

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney says he's moved on from rugby-bound Sonny Bill Williams and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves didn't warrant inclusion in the Kiwis' depleted lineup for Friday's transtasman test.

Nor did Kearney feel Waerea-Hargreaves needed a phone call advising him of his shock omission from a new-look 18-man Kiwis squad to face world champions Australia at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

It features six newcomers, including NSW Cup player Isaac John, and only five survivors from the team demolished 34-2 by the Kangaroos in the World Cup final last November in Manchester.

Injured stars Keiran Foran, Frank Pritchard, Issac Luke and Manu Vatuvei are also missing, with the Kiwi underdogs given little hope of toppling Australia in a one-off test for the first time since 1998.

Advertisement

Kearney, though, defended the selectors' big call to overlook Waerea-Hargreaves, widely considered among the best props in the world, and refused to "waste energy" talking about Williams and others stars like his Sydney Roosters teammates Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Frank Paul Nuuausala not being in the squad.

"From our point of view, I don't want to get into specifics and individuals, but we picked the side on form and picked the side with the future in mind," Kearney said.

"Jared would certainly count himself unlucky, but there are a number of guys who have been playing good football over the last couple of weeks who would be in Jared's shoes also.

"So I don't think it would be fair to single out one individual."

Kearney was asked if Williams, who debuted for New Zealand in the now national coach's 43rd and final test as a player in 2004, was in fact boycotting the match.

"Sonny's not here this week and we made it pretty clear at the beginning of the week that we made a decision six weeks ago that we were going to pick a team based on the future.

"Obviously Sonny is returning back to rugby union next year.

"We're thinking 12 months, 24 months, 36 months in terms of the Kiwi jumper and so Sonny wasn't considered this week.

Advertisement

"It's a matter of assessing what we think is best for this test match."

Kearney admitted he wasn't even certain which players would fill what positions when the squad was picked.

But he's still happy with it and says the Kiwis will be competitive.

"The side is what it is and we're really pleased with it," he said.

"We've got a number of lads in there who have come through our Junior Kiwi programme."

- AAP