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Kiwis back-rower Kevin Proctor.

Kevin Proctor is using the harsh lessons he has learned over the past 18 months to help guide New Zealand rugby league into their next phase under Michael Maguire.

No men have been more relieved in recent weeks than Proctor and teammate Jesse Bromwich, who both returned to the Kiwis set-up in October after being banned from last year's Rugby League World Cup for alleged cocaine use outside a Canberra nightclub in May 2017.

Fast forward to now and the pair find themselves as senior leaders out to set an example to some of the up-and-coming youth whilst on tour back representing their country.

"I thought the chance to play again might have slipped between my fingers," Proctor told

"I learnt a lot about myself and my actions. It hurt to watch the boys last year knowing I let them down. To get the opportunity to put the black jumper on again was unreal and I took it with both hands."

Making the transition back into the NZRL set up has been helped by Maguire, who has given both Proctor and Bromwich a clean slate.

Proctor relieved to be back with Kiwis

In addition, just seven Kiwis teammates remain from the ANZAC Test last May with a fresh-look squad aiding a smooth transition back into the side.

Former Kiwi legends Stacey Jones, Daryl Halligan, Nigel Vagana and Motu Tony are also part of Maguire's entourage to offer guidance to the squad.

"To be honest it's been one of my most enjoyable camps," Proctor said.

"We've got a good mix of players, we don't have that in-between. A breath of fresh air with the new coaching staff, their style of play and how they run the side.

I thought the chance to play again might have slipped between my fingers

Kevin Proctor

"We want to win for those guys because they put in so much effort into this camp to make us be successful."

The Kiwis need to beat England at Anfield on Sunday to keep the series alive and recapture momentum following their shock win over Australia last month.

"We let them off too easily and you can't give a team like England easy ball," Proctor said.

"Some of our fifth tackle options weren't flash but those boys have worked on them this week. We can take a lot of confidence out of that game. Some of England's tries were a bit freakish – one off a kick and one long range.

"We know we played well enough to win last weekend so we just need to correct a few things."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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