Josh Papalii in doubt for Kangaroos Test

Josh Papalii is in doubt for the Kangaroos Test with the Kiwis in Wollongong due to a chest injury.
Josh Papalii is in doubt for the Kangaroos Test with the Kiwis in Wollongong due to a chest injury.

Kangaroos prop Josh Papalii is in doubt for Friday night's Test with the Kiwis in Wollongong as he battles a chest injury.

The Canberra front-rower injured his sternum cartilage in the NRL grand final earlier this month and he failed to finish Kangaroos training on Tuesday.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga confirmed the 27-year-old has scans on Wednesday but was cleared of serious damage, so pain management will likely determine is availability.

The Kangaroos hold their captain's run at Kiama Showground on Thursday morning where a decision will be made over Papalii's availability.

"He woke up pretty good, so we're going to monitor him. We train (Thursday morning) so we'll make a decision then," Meninga said.

"We've just got to see if it settles down well enough. He wants to play, that's why we're waiting."

Should Papalii be ruled out of the clash at WIN Stadium, South Sydney forward and Cameron Murray will be brought into the team, while Payne Haas or Paul Vaughan will be promoted from the bench to the starting side.

Losing Papalii would be significant for the Kangaroos given his sensational form for the Raiders in their run to the premiership decider with the Sydney Roosters.

Meninga was coy when asked if Papalii would be given a pain-killing injection to play, but denied the mystery was a ploy to throw off the opposition.

"I'm not good enough to play mind games, I'm not smart enough to do that, we're just doing what we have to do," he said.

"He wants to play, I'm pretty sure the players want him to play, he's just got to get in the right headspace to play."

Australian Associated Press