New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney says Rangi Chase is a Kiwi - even though the half-back has chosen to play for England in the Four Nations.
Scrum-half Chase will play against his country of birth on Saturday, with a place in the final at stake.
Kearney said: "I'm sure if you ask Rangi, he's still a Kiwi - he just chooses to play for England.
"It's unfortunate that he's coming through in an era where we have a lot of talented guys in that position."
Kearney admitted prior to the tournament that Chase had been in one of his provisional squads.
However, the New Zealand coach added: "We have Benji Marshall, Kieran Foran, Isaac Luke, Thomas Leuluai, Nathan Fien and Shaun Johnson.
"But we respect Rangi and, if he's wearing the opposition jumper, we'll have to treat him accordingly."
New Zealand half-back Foran has highlighted England's playmaking duo of Chase and Sam Tomkins as two players his side must nullify.
Foran said: "Sam Tomkins and guys like that - if you present them with a loose line they're going to make you pay for it.
"We've spoken a lot about Rangi Chase this week and we're going to have to stay on our guard and try to shut him down.
"It was fairly surprising when he chose England, but he has to do what's best for his football."