New Zealand back-rower Tohu Harris is confident the Kiwis have the Rugby League World Cup personnel to cover the loss of banned captain Jesse Bromwich.
Bromwich and Kevin Proctor were both axed earlier this month amid allegations of drug use after the Anzac test in Canberra.
The absence of the pair makes it even harder for the Kiwis to upset defending champions Australia, but Harris says one positive is that his team have plenty of time before the tournament kicks off on October 27.
"It's going to be really different not having them in the team because I think Jesse might have played 20-odd tests in a row and Kevvie's been constant in the team the last few years," Harris said.
"But it's the cards that the team's been dealt and we've got a long time to think about it and prepare knowing that they're not in it."
Harris, with 15 tests, missed the Canberra match due to his recovery from a stress fracture but is a certainty for the World Cup.
He made his first appearance of the NRL season in Melbourne's shock loss last round to Gold Coast.
Australia have won their past five encounters with New Zealand, the Kiwis claiming the three before that in 2014-15 when they briefly knocked the Kangaroos off the perch for the first time.
Harris felt his side could again match the Aussies.
"I think so; I think we've still got a lot of competition for positions and a lot of depth in the country," he said.
"We haven't put it all together on the field at once for a few years now but we're looking forward to trying to do that."
Harris is one of Bromwich's closest mates at the Storm, who had also suspended the banned Kiwi skipper for two games including Sunday's clash with South Sydney in Perth.
He said the prop had put his head down and was working hard to try to make it up to his Melbourne teammates.
"He's very disappointed in himself but he knows what he has to do to get back playing and do the things that make up for what he's done," Harris said.
"Everyone's showing their support for him."