New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich believes anything but a place in the final is a failure for his side at this year’s World Cup.
The side, currently ranked #1 in the world, missed out on the final in 2017 as Australia defeated England 6-0 to claim the title.
The Kangaroos also won the tournament in 2013, with New Zealand last lifting the World Cup trophy in 2008.
New Zealand open their 2021 World Cup campaign against Lebanon on Sunday in Warrington, before facing Ireland and Jamaica in Group C.
Jesse Bromwich: ‘It’s been a long time since New Zealand had a squad like this’
“Anything but the final is a bit of a failure,” Bromwich told Love Rugby League.
“I’m really excited by what the squad can do. It’s been a long time since New Zealand had a squad like this. For me, it’s not just the one-to-17, it’s the depth of the whole squad.
“Any other year, I think everyone makes the team. It’s a really good headache for the coach to have and I don’t envy his job.
“It’s exciting times for New Zealand rugby league and we’re really looking forward to it.”
New Zealand defeated Leeds 74-0 at Headingley Stadium as part of their World Cup preparations last weekend. The Kiwis also claimed a 26-6 mid-season victory over Tonga in front of a sell-out crowd in Auckland.
“We love coming over here and touring. I’ve been lucky enough of have done it a few times,” Bromwich continued.
“I’m constantly telling the boys to expect things over here and one of the things is the noise of the crowd. I don’t know how many we had on the weekend against Leeds, but it certainly sounded loud.
“It sounded like 20,000. They get right into it. There’s a lot to do over here. The culture over here is quite different, it’s something I really enjoy.”