Mal Meninga anticipates Kangaroos prop Patrick Carrigan will play in honour of his friend Liam Hampson, who was found dead in Barcelona earlier this week.
The Kangaroos were told of Hampson's passing when they arrived in Coventry ahead of their Rugby League World Cup group game against Scotland on Friday (Saturday AEDT).
Carrigan was friends with Hampson, who was holidaying in the Spanish city with a travelling party that included Brisbane forward Jordan Riki and Gold Coast fullback AJ Brimson.
Meninga named Carrigan to start at prop against the Scots and expects the Brisbane front-rower will want to play to take his mind of the tragic news.
"He is comfortable with that (playing at the moment)," Meninga said.
" We are still 24 hours away so we will see how it pans out. "Everyone needs time to grieve, sometimes you just jump back on the bike and keep going - that is a way of handling it as well.
"At some stage all his close friends, particularly over here, will be grieving. We will support them as best we can.
"Being so far away from home is the thing too."
Meninga said the Hampson family were in the Kangaroos' thoughts.
"We're very much behind them all and in the back of our minds we will be playing for them tomorrow," he said.
The death of the 24-year-old, who played at hooker for Tweed and Redcliffe in the Queensland Cup, has sparked a fundraising campaign to return the talented league player's body to Australia.
The Australian side will wear black armbands against the Bravehearts where a win would guarantee them a spot in the quarter-finals.
The game will mark Nathan Cleary's first Test cap with his parents Ivan and Bec expected to travel to Coventry to see him play.
Cleary is locked in a battle with incumbent Australian halfback Daly Cherry-Evans and is auditioning to partner Cameron Munster as the tournament progresses into the knockout stage.
"He's quite a quiet character, he's a bit introverted," Meninga said of Cleary.
"But I think having a game is going to bring out the best in him both personality-wise and playing-wise.
"Once you get that first game out you feel part of it all, you're contributing with real blood sweat and tears and things start clicking into place.
"I know there's a bit of an aura about him and everyone wants to talk about it, but Nathan's part of the team and he'll be a really strong team player and play a really active role in our success."
Cleary's fellow Penrith teammates Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin - along with former Panthers centre Matt Burton - will all make their Australian debuts.