Kiwis veteran Simon Mannering hopes to see exiled duo Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor back in black sooner rather than later.
The pair, both senior Kiwis, were seen snorting a substance thought to be cocaine after their side's 30-12 loss to Australia in May's Anzac Day Test in Canberra.
They were duly barred from Rugby League World Cup selection by coach David Kidwell, and watched the side's first-up wins over Samoa and Scotland from home.
Mannering - a former Test captain with 43 caps to his name - has remained in contact with Bromwich, for whom the Kiwis jumper remains a lure.
He'd be happy to see both players return post-Cup.
"I know from speaking to both of them - probably more Jesse of late - that they're still very passionate about this team and the jersey and, as a teammate, I'm looking forward to the next chance I get to play alongside them," Mannering said.
"What's done is done, we all make mistakes.
"They've been through that process and we have as a group as well - hopefully we see them back in the jersey sometime soon."
Mannering insisted the pair, who play for Melbourne and Gold Coast respectively in the NRL, remain a valued part of the Kiwis team.
Their absences have given Joseph Tapine a chance in the Kiwis' back row and Marty Taupau a starting role at prop, with both performing well so far.
The Kiwis will play Tonga on Saturday to settle Pool B.