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Kangaroos debutant Damien Cook.

Livewire Australia hooker Damien Cook says last year's two-point loss to New Zealand would serve as inspiration for his side heading into Friday night's Test match in Wollongong.

Cook went into camp with his Kangaroos teammates on Sunday with the 26-24 loss to the Kiwis 12 months ago fresh in their minds.

With a successful World Cup 9s campaign now in the rear-view mirror, the chance to get one back on New Zealand has arrived for Mal Meninga's men.

"It was my first game in the jersey and first loss Australia had in a while," Cook said as the team gathered in North Wollongong.

"It wasn't the best memory but getting that chance was special. We didn't play our best footy but still managed to score some points.

"This time we don't want to wait for the Tonga game to get it right."

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Cook was left out of the Nines despite initial thoughts he'd be almost certain to take his place in the tournament given his blistering speed around the ruck.

The 28-year-old said he was eager to get back on the field after the Rabbitohs' disappointing exit in the finals and has kept himself fit heading into the Test calendar.

"We were gutted we missed the grand final," Cook said.

"I had a week off [after the loss] but felt like I had to keep ticking over with fitness to get the chance to put the green and gold jersey.

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"I played all my junior footy down here for the Helensburgh Tigers and [Thirroul] Butchers as well and the Illawarra Steelers in Harold Matthews and SG Ball.

"WIN Stadium was my home ground and to get the chance to go back there and wear the green and gold jersey, it will be a pretty special night."

Cook re-iterated Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett's comments surrounding the future of club captain Sam Burgess amid fears the Englishman's career could be ended by a chronic shoulder injury.

Bennett remained confident Burgess would be available for the Rabbitohs in 2020 despite conceding he'll have to undergo further surgery.

"Sam is someone who brought himself back early a few times because we needed him back on the field to help get us to the finals," Cook said.

"Now he just needs a good rest and to look after his shoulder. We want to make sure first and foremost his health is there. You don't want any permanent damage to any player after their career.

"Sam has given his whole body and everything to the game. I've got no doubts he will be playing with us next year."

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