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Friday, August 14
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New Zealand improve their depth but won’t gather again until next June

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“It’s something I’ve been working at all along with the senior guys,” Maguire said.

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“But I think that’s what’s required at this level. I think the boys themselves are pushing the heights of where they want to go to.”

The players likely won’t assemble to pull on the black jersey again until June next year but Maguire said he expected his squad to be leaders at their respective clubs heading into the next NRL campaign.

“We want the Kiwis to be the best players in their teams when they go back to clubland.”

New Zealand’s series win over the Lions was their first since 1998 and Kiwis skipper Benji Marshall was one of their best during the victory in Christchurch.

“It’s one I think the boys can really enjoy and to do it on home soil for us is something special,” he said.

Turning up: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was among New Zealand's best against Great Britain.

Turning up: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was among New Zealand’s best against Great Britain.Credit:Getty

“I’m just really proud of the boys over the last couple of weeks; not just the way they’ve come together but themselves as a group on the field.”

Meanwhile, Great Britain will look to finish their rugby league tour of the southern hemisphere with a win over Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.

The Lions opened their campaign with a 14-6 loss to Tonga and then went down to New Zealand 12-8 in Auckland last week, before Saturday’s latest loss.

The final leg of their tour will come next weekend against the Kumuls in Papua New Guinea and Lions coach Wayne Bennett said he was eager to put a good performance out there.

“I don’t want to go up there and not play well,” Bennett said. “So it’s important to us.”

AAP

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