The Kiwis’ rugby league World Cup hopes received a boost on Monday when key centre Steve Matai was cleared to join their squad after seeing a medical specialist in Sydney.

Matai had been on the doubtful list after playing through Manly’s National Rugby League championship title run with a shoulder injury.

But Matai was told his shoulder would not require immediate surgery, clearing him to take his place in the Kiwis’ 24-strong World Cup squad.