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Test case scenario: DWZ hopes internationals can be squeezed in

New Zealand skipper Dallin Watene Zelezniak hopes the game can figure out a way to include some international matches at the end of the season despite the global COVID-19 pandemic.

With the end-of-year internationals up in the air and State of Origin rescheduled to the post-season after the Telstra Premiership grand final at the end of October, DWZ said a loss of Tests could kill the momentum the international game has been building.

At his club's first online media opportunity since the code was forced into a hiatus in March before the scheduled May 28 resumption, the Bulldogs fullback said there had been a video conference call between the players and staff of the Kiwis squad during the hiatus to keep everyone connected.

"It would be awesome to get a game out, it's the pinnacle for us as Kiwis, we don't have Origin so international is the highest we can go," he said.

"Circumstances are different at this time, we'd love to get out and play for the Kiwis. We'll have to see what the NRL do but you never turn down an opportunity to play for your country.

Jackson grateful to return to training

"The international game is getting big at the moment so something like this if we don't play can sort of kill that run we're having at the moment. I think it would be good for the game to have us out there playing, it brings a lot more fans into the zone."

From a club perspective, DWZ also cautioned his team's slow 0-2 start with narrow losses to the Eels and Cowboys had piled on extra pressure now each team would play four fewer games in the condensed club competition.

"Especially because the rounds have dropped now so there's less rounds to be able to get points," he said.

"Our start from round three will be pretty big - we need to win a few games. You can't leave it til the end as we've done in previous years so that's a big focus we'll have to have."

Canterbury captain Josh Jackson said the upgraded biosecurity measures governing NRL players – including teammate Marcelo Montoya having to move from home to a share house – are a small sacrifice compared to what many in the community are encountering.

Overall the players are just relieved to be back and realise the privileged position they are in.

"It's obviously great to be back, for us to be able to come back and do what we do," he said.

"It's a big issue among the community; all of us amongst the staff and players know how lucky we are to be back and we're very grateful.

"As far as biosecurity there's a fair bit of stuff to do in the mornings when we get in before we go on the field. Everyone is willing to make small sacrifices to enable us to come in and train and hopefully play in a couple of weeks' time."

Foran inches closer to NRL return

Aside from extra quarantine measures plus health and temperature checks, the players are only able to train in groups of 10 with no contact at this stage.

Every player was put through fitness tests, which revealed everyone had taken care of themselves through the time off while injured star Kieran Foran is closing in on a return to play, according to Jackson.

"He's going fantastic, Foz, he's been training really hard in the break by himself doing all his rehab stuff, it's come along really well," Jackson said.

"He was involved in one of the sessions today, he's not doing contact [yet] but it would be a big boost if we could get him back first game but it's hard to say until he starts doing any contact."