Australia's rugby league captain Darren Lockyer says gaining the captaincy of the Kiwis has made New Zealand's Benji Marshall an even more dangerous opponent.
The Kangaroos skipper says the leadership role encourages the unpredictable Marshall to take more ownership of games and get more involved.
The two sides are both on their way to the Four Nations tournament in the UK, where they'll meet in the opening match next weekend.
Marshall was named as New Zealand captain in May, replacing Nathan Cayless who stepped down following the side's 2008 World Cup triumph.
The Kiwis beat Tonga 40-24 earlier this week in a warmup match for the season-ending tournament, which also involves England and France.