The Kangaroos fullback Billy Slater completed yesterday's training session in Brisbane, only to promptly tell team management he was pulling out of Friday night's rugby league Test against the Kiwis because of a shoulder injury.
After his shock decision, Slater said it was frustrating to miss this year's sole Test, especially after also missing the 2014 Four Nations with another shoulder complaint.
The Melbourne Storm veteran said three quarters of the way through the session he was playing, but by the end he decided not to risk letting the team down at Suncorp Stadium.
Slater admitted he had not done enough to prepare for a physical Kiwis pack on Friday night.
Greg Inglis is expected to take over at fullback.
Meanwhile the Kanagaroos forward Corey Parker says they may still cling to the world number one ranking but Australia have lost their aura.
Parker has warned ahead of Friday night's trans-Tasman Test that his veteran side may soon show their age against a young New Zealand team he believes is only going to get better.
The Kiwis were Australia's whipping boys not so long ago - especially at the one-off Test held each year in April.
New Zealand last claimed the trans-Tasman showdown in 1998 - the year the tradition began.
Thanks to their stunning Four Nations success, the Kiwis have the chance to claim three straight wins over Australia for the first time since 1953.
Asked if Australia had lost their aura in New Zealand's eyes, Parker says absolutely.
Parker says they've played them three times in 12 months and they have beaten them twice, you have to give them the respect that they deserve.
Yet the Kiwis still can't claim world number 1 status with a victory at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
They will only leapfrog Australia if they also down England in an end-of-year three-match series.
But Parker hinted at a bright future for New Zealand as Australia look to field their third oldest team on Friday night despite overlooking veteran Justin Hodges.
He says the Kiwis core group of players like Shaun Johnson, Kieran Foran, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck are about 24, so they are going to be around for a long time.... our core group is over the 30-year mark.
Parker says New Zealand are only going to get better as a nation.
Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith admitted their dominant trans-Tasman Test record meant nothing this year.
He says history shows they have pretty good results in these games but it is a different story this time, the Kiwis have a strong squad and they will be confident from last year.