JWH left out as Leota returns for Kiwis

New Zealand will be without intimidating prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for their World Cup semi-final against Australia.

The Sydney Roosters forward has only played one game at this tournament, suspensions forcing him to sit out their opening two group fixtures and their quarter-final win over Fiji.

Waerea-Hargreaves has also been struggling with a hamstring injury and won't feature against the Kangaroos at Elland Road on Friday (Saturday AEDT).

New Zealand have only beaten Australia once in their last five meetings and coach Michael Maguire will also be without versatile utility Marata Niukore for the first trans-Tasman game since 2019.

But Maguire has some welcome news with the return of prop forward Moses Leota, who has been dealing with a pectoral injury, and has only featured once on this tour.

Winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is also included in the 19-man squad after dealing with a hamstring complaint.

New Zealand squad:

Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jesse Bromwich (captain), Kenny Bromwich, Dylan Brown, James Fisher-Harris, Kieran Foran, Peta Hiku, Jahrome Hughes, Moses Leota, Isaac Liu, Joseph Manu, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Briton Nikora, Isaiah Papali'i, Jordan Rapana, Brandon Smith, Joseph Tapine, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.