The Kiwis are counting on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves reproducing his stunning NRL grand final form as they plot the demise of the world champion Kangaroos in Saturday's transtasman test.
Expectations are high after the Sydney Roosters giant hit career best form throughout the finals series before being the best forward on the park in their premiership win over Melbourne.
The hard hitting prop's aggressive running and tackling set the tone for the Roosters' success while he also scored a personal victory over his Storm opposite and Kiwis front-row partner Jesse Bromwich.
The 29-year-old 24-test veteran hasn't always managed to transfer his strong club form to the international stage, but the understrength Kiwis need him at his best if they are to upset Australia at Mt Smart Stadium.
New Zealand coach Michael Maguire was pleased with his contribution in the midseason test defeat to England in Denver, but wants Waerea-Hargreaves to bring the power and aggression that marked the Tricolours title win.
"There were periods when he came into that Denver test where he led," said Maguire.
"There's areas in a game that we need to look at but if he can produce what he did [in the grand final] we'll all be happy."
One of the game's true characters, Waerea-Hargreaves has been a polarising figure since making his test debut off the bench for the Kiwis against Tonga in 2009.
As laid-back off the field as he is aggressive on it, consistency has eluded him throughout his time in the black and white jersey, but the Roosters' title win has left him full of self-belief going into the one-off test and end of year tour of England.
"I've been on cloud nine," said Waerea-Hargreaves.
"It's been a really exciting month of footy but it's really nice to come back into the Kiwis. I'm really excited for this campaign and pumped to be here.
"Obviously you grow in confidence after performing on a stage like [the grand final] but now it's about getting back to basics and doing it again.
"I need to sit down with Madge (Maguire) and see what role he wants me to play here and keep things pretty simple and get out there and do my best for the team."
The Kiwis may have gone down at Mile High Stadium, but time away with a new-look squad helped reinvigorate Waerea-Hargreaves ahead of the second-half of the season.
After last year's demoralising World Cup campaign, he was buoyed by the direction the Kiwis had taken in Maguire's first test in charge and returned to club duty full of energy and enthusiasm.
"I was really excited; getting selected and going away to Denver sort of ignited something there personally," he said.
"I was really excited about coming back towards the back-end of the season and I'm really humbled to be back here."
The Kiwis are determined to restore some pride and end a three-game losing streak while Waerea-Hargreaves is also excited to share the triple-header bill, with the Junior Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns also facing their Australian rivals.
"To have all three teams play Australia on the same day for the first time, it means a lot for our game and for us as players. We're really excited for our people to come out and support us."