Under fire Kiwis coach David Kidwell has defended the culture of his team after captain Jesse Bromwich and teammate Kevin Proctor's alleged involvement in the National Rugby League's latest drugs scandal.
The pair is alleged to have purchased and snorted cocaine in Canberra's city centre in the early hours of yesterday morning after Friday night's humiliating 30-12 Anzac test defeat to the Kangaroos.
Speaking on Channel Nine's Sunday Footy Show, Kidwell explained he is waiting for the NRL and New Zealand Rugby League's findings from their ongoing joint investigation into the incident before passing judgement on the two players.
Regardless of the outcome, the 40-year-old appealed to rugby league supporters and Kiwis fans, insisting such behavior is not a part of the New Zealand side's Te Iwi Kiwi culture.
"If the allegations are true, to all of the rugby league fans and Kiwis fans out there, that's not part of our Te Iwi Kiwi culture," said Kidwell.
"And those actions from those players is not part of what we are trying to build in the Kiwi camp.
"The whole of our rugby league sport's (community) has taken a bit of a hit with the integrity.
"We've got good people in rugby league and why I became the head coach of the Kiwis is (because) I love rugby league.
"I love the sport, I love the people involved in the sport, and it's a surprise."
The Te Iwi Kiwi culture was implemented by Kidwell's predecessor Stephen Kearney following the failed 2013 World Cup campaign, with an overall message of selflessness and shared commitment to the team's values and goals. The slogan is of Maori origin but encompasses all cultures within the Kiwis side.
Kidwell would not comment on what action could be taken against the players if the allegations are proven to be true, saying: "There's a process that they're going through and that's all I can comment on. I don't want to jeopardise the process."