The Kangaroos players are still getting their heads around Greg Inglis' drink-driving ban as they look to begin a "new era" in Saturday's rugby league test against New Zealand in Auckland.
Lock Josh McGuire said the players felt for Inglis, who was stripped of the captaincy 28 hours after being named new Kangaroos skipper following drink- driving and speeding charges.
Inglis was also banned from Australia's trans-Tasman clash and their October 20 clash with Tonga.
Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic was a surprise selection in the centres in Inglis' absence when coach Mal Meninga unveiled a 17 with four rookies for Saturday's Test.
"I haven't been able to chat with GI. I think he is going through his own stuff at the moment (but) I fully support him and he is my captain," McGuire said of Inglis.
"He is a good mate of mine. I hope everything is alright and gets sorted."
While Inglis' absence is a blow, back-rower Felise Kaufusi still believes Australia will start an exciting new chapter this weekend with their rookie brigade.
Sydney Roosters premiership-winning teammates James Tedesco, five-eighth Luke Keary and centre Latrell Mitchell plus South Sydney and NSW rake Cook are making their Test debut.
The Kangaroos are starting life without fullback Billy Slater and ex-skipper Cameron Smith, a daunting challenge especially after halves Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston announced their representative retirement last year.
"I guess it is a bit of a new era and I am pretty excited to see what the boys can do," Kaufusi said.
Tedesco, who played for Italy at the 2017 World Cup, steps up at fullback for retired great Slater while Cronulla try machine Valentine Holmes and Rabbitohs Dane Gagai are the wingers.
The NRL grand final hero Keary earns his first green and gold jersey after replacing Cameron Munster, who withdrew from the squad due to personal reasons.
Trbojevic will play alongside his older brother Jake for Australia for the first time after his sibling was included on the Kangaroos bench.
Storm grand final forward Kaufusi kept St George Illawarra's Tyson Frizell out of the starting pack after being named to partner new Kangaroos skipper Boyd Cordner in the second-row.
North Queensland prop Jordan McLean will start in the front-row with Canterbury's David Klemmer despite being limited to just 10 NRL games this year due to a foot injury.
St George Illawarra No.7 Ben Hunt got the nod over Gold Coast-bound Tyrone Peachey for the bench utility job.