AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 26: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad of the Warriors during the round four NRL match between New Zealand Warriors and Canterbury Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium on March 26, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

New Zealand Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has revealed star fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad played through a broken rib during the Pacific Championships.

The star Warriors' fullback, who was among the best at club level for the Auckland-based outfit this year and, on the back of it is likely to hang onto the number one jumper in 2024 despite the impending arrival of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, made a staggering 274 metres against Australia in Saturday's Pacific Championships final, played in Hamilton.

New Zealand took out the game 30 points to nil, handing Australia their single biggest ever defeat in the process.

But Nicoll-Klokstad, who was unusually quiet a week earlier in Melbourne as Austalia won the regular round of the tri-series against the Kiwis in convincing fashion, bounced back superbly despite injuring himself, which Maguire revealed was actually done in the opening game of the Pacific Cup against Samoa.

“I didn't say it earlier but after the Samoa game he had a broken rib. He probably wasn't meant to play," Maguire said during his post-match press conference.

“It just goes to show what players will do when they're playing for their country and playing for their brothers.”

On top of his 277 metres, Maguire had 101 post-contact metres, a try assist, two line break assists, six tackle breaks four offloads and only made a single error with no missed tackles despite his influence on the game.

Named player of the game, Nicoll-Klokstad capped off an excellent season and will now head into the recovery ward during his leave period as mandated under the collective bargaining agreement.

Players who took part in yesterday's final, for the most part, are unlikely to be required to train until around the Christmas break, and the star fullback is likely to be able to hit the training track at 100 per cent fitness in the new year.