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Thomas Leuluai's groin injury may have opened the door for Kevin Locke to be included in the top Kiwis side for the rest of the Rugby League World Cup.

Leuluai's all but ruled out of the remainder of the tournament, leaving no specialist backup in the halves

Locke's unlikely to start at fullback ahead of Josh Hoffman, but playmaker Shaun Johnson says they've both spent time training in the halves.

"I think he had a run there at some stage. I think Kevin jumped in there at some stage too.

"I guess if worst comes to worst, we can put one of our fullbacks in there. Yeah."

Sonny Bill Williams also filled in at standoff during the win over Papua New Guinea.

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