Stephen Kearney will lead New Zealand into the next World Cup, after he extended his contract with the Kiwis by another two years.
Kearney, who helped lead the nation to success in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, will remain with the national team until the end of the 2017 tournament with this latest extension.
The Kiwis can move to the top of the world rankings this year if they beat Australia in the ANZAC Test followed by a series win against England this autumn.
“After the disappointing end to the 2013 World Cup, I think we recognised the need to rebuild the Kiwis culture,” said NZRL chief executive Phil Holden.
“We were pretty confident that Stephen was still the right man for that job, but needed to put the right structures around him to help him succeed.
“Winning the Four Nations showed that we are on the right track and it’s appropriate that we give Stephen some job security, so he can build towards the next World Cup.”