Daly Cherry-Evans may be in career-best form but Cooper Cronk insists he deserves to keep his Australian halfback spot in front of the Manly playmaker.

Cherry-Evans produced a virtuoso performance in the Sea Eagles' 54-18 humiliation of Canberra on Sunday, setting up six of his side's seven first-half tries to open up a 42-0 lead after 34 minutes at Brookvale Oval.

Despite his outstanding display it was only enough to earn him a spot on the bench for Friday's Test against New Zealand with long-time incumbent Cronk preferred by selectors despite some indifferent displays for a Melbourne side that have lost four of their last five games.

But Cronk said despite Cherry-Evans breathing down his neck he doesn't need to work any harder than he already does to keep his stranglehold on the green and gold No.7 jersey.

"In all due respect, Daly is a very good footballer and he'll play for Australia in the capacity that he wants to one day," Cronk said.

"But him playing - or any other young player - putting pressure on players doesn't really inspire me to work any harder.

"The fact that I get to play the sport that I loved growing up with, I'm very privileged to do so, that's enough for me.

"So you encourage the competitiveness from other players but it doesn't inspire me to work any harder than I already do."

Coach Tim Sheens said at Sunday's team selection announcement there was little to choose between the pair, but was happy with the decision of the selectors to go with Cronk.

It was something that didn't gone unnoticed by the 30-year-old who said it was the right call.

"It's nice that the coach and selectors do show you loyalty but at the end of the day it comes down to individual performances," he said.

"I've been playing football for a long period of time now and my mantra's always been that you need to be playing consistent, good football when these teams get named because I certainly don't take the approach that I've got a mortgage on any jersey.

"As long as you have that approach, you're playing well and you're still putting in the effort, I don't see things changing too much in the future."

Cherry-Evans agreed Cronk's consistency over a number of years means he deserves to be first choice and is happy to wait for his big break.

"Cooper is playing some really good football at the moment and I there are any qualms from me about him keeping the No.7 jersey," Cherry-Evans told AAP.

"I am more than happy to wait in the wings and play whatever role is required from me."

Cherry-Evans will play the utility role off the bench and said the experience of filling in at hooker during the World Cup has added another string to his bow and allows his the opportunity to play representative football for both Queensland and Australia.

"I am fortunate that I've been able to prove myself in different positions and with that I guess comes more job security," he said.

"But any time you get to play for your country regardless of where you play is a great honour."