Australia captain Darren Lockyer has warned his side not to read too much into them being strong favourites, 2/5 with bookmaker, to win the Four Nations tournament.
The Kangaroos are widely tipped to be too strong for New Zealand, England and Wales, but RL legend Lockyer is cautious about getting too carried away.
He said: “We went into last year’s tournament as number one too, but didn’t end up with the trophy.
“There’s a lot of hard work in front of us and we have to really get stuck in if we’re going to earn the right to call ourselves the best in the world.”
The Kiwis took the honours last year in Australia, springing a major shock in the final in Brisbane by winning 16-12, having been beaten 34-20 by Australia in their group stage meeting.
This time around the two Antipodean rivals start their campaigns against each other in Warrington on Friday, with Australia 1/7 to get off to a winning start.