The Kiwis will have a new captain this season with New Zealand Rugby League confirming that Benji Marshall won't lead the national team in 2013.
The decision to take the leadership off Marshall has been made to give the playmaker every shot of being at his best on the field in this all-important Rugby League World Cup year.
Stephen Kearney says Marshall was keen to continue in the captaincy role, but the decision was made in the best interests of the team.
NZRL's general manager Tony Kemp says because he is one of the highest-profile players in the sport, he carries a massive workload for rugby league in general.
Kemp says Marshall is hurting at the moment, but they believe this decision will ultimately lift some weight from him and give the Kiwis every opportunity to defend the Rugby League World Cup.