Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck hopes to make a return to the Kiwis at the end of the year, after making the tough call to miss Sunday's test against England in Denver.
The 25-year-old fullback would have been one of the first players picked by new Kiwis coach Michael Maguire but turned down the chance to represent New Zealand in the historic match at Mile High Stadium.
Having recently become a father for the first time, Tuivasa-Sheck was reluctant to leave his fiancé Ashley Walker and their newborn baby behind, and felt he also needed to do the right thing by his club and get his body right ahead of their run into the NRL finals.
The Warriors are currently sitting in fourth spot on the premiership ladder and need just a handful more wins to cement their first playoff appearance since 2011.
"It was a tough call," said Tuivasa-Sheck.
"I had been speaking with Michael Maguire, we had some long discussions. He knew that I was about to have my first newborn and was really supportive of me staying.
"I have a few niggles, my ankles and my hip, and a few things that I want to make sure that I'm taking care of, because in the back end of this competition is where it all matters."
Tuivasa-Sheck has carried an elbow injury throughout the first half of the season and missed the Warriors win over Manly in Christchurch a fortnight ago with an ankle injury suffered in the loss to South Sydney last month.
He made a stunning return in last Friday's 23-16 win over the Cowboys in Townsville, scoring a brilliant long-range individual try and setting up two more for wing Ken Maumalo and centre Solomone Kata.
However, he found the short trip away from his partner and baby daughter difficult, which reinforced his decision to stay in Auckland over the upcoming representative weekend.
"I'm loving every moment of having a baby," he said.
"The tough part is travelling away. My first trip was Townsville, I was away for four days and that was tough.
"I just kept calling her and asking her to send me photos and asking 'what's she doing now? But she was sleeping the whole time I was away."
Tuivasa-Sheck now has his sights set on continuing his good form in the Warriors next game against Cronulla at Mt Smart Stadium on June 29.
All going well, he hopes he can make a return to the black and white jersey when the Kiwis host the Kangaroos in Auckland in October, before heading to the UK and France.
"I know I get another shot at the end of the year with the Kiwis tour to the UK so hopefully I can look forward to that."
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