It's a devastating blow for player, club and country but Adam Blair believes New Zealand will cope with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's absence in next month's ANZAC Test.
The Warriors fullback suffered a season-ending knee injury against Canterbury on Saturday, denying the Kiwis one of their biggest threats for the May 6 clash with Australia in Newcastle.
Blair is gutted for the 22-year-old, who established himself as an NRL superstar last season with the Sydney Roosters before a big-money move to the Warriors.
But the Brisbane prop says there's enough talent at Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney's disposal to ensure Tuivasa-Sheck's injury isn't a decisive factor.
"For Roger, it's disappointing. For New Zealand, disappointing. The Warriors, disappointing," Blair said.
"It's a tough blow for the Kiwis coming into the Test match but with the depth we have now in New Zealand rugby league, we've got a lot of young kids that have been stepping up.
"We've got a lot of kids that are ready to go."
Penrith's Peta Hiku has already been mentioned as the favourite to replace Tuivasa-Sheck. But Kearney could also turn to Hiku's club teammate Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, another Warrior in Tuimoala Lolohea or even Blair's fellow Bronco Jordan Kahu.
Hiku appears the logical frontrunner after playing as the Kiwis fullback during their successful 2014 Four Nations campaign, when Tuivasa-Sheck was unavailable due to injury.