All Blacks captain Kieran Read will not feature during next weekend’s Rugby Championship test in Argentina.
Read will not travel with the squad for the fixture but will re-join the squad for their highly anticipated rematch with the Springboks the following week in Pretoria.
“We always had a plan to manage Kieran’s long-haul travel this year, following his return to rugby after back surgery,” said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
“He’ll miss the trip to Argentina and re-join the squad in South Africa for the Test against the Springboks.”
Read will be replaced by Vaea Fifita for the Pumas test. Likely candidates to assume captaincy for the Argentina Test include lock Sam Whitelock, loose forwards Sam Cane and Luke Whitelock as well as outside back Ben Smith.
Ngani Laumape, who was called in as injury cover for Sonny Bill Williams earlier in the Rugby Championship, will also remain in New Zealand.
Dane Coles, Joe Moody, Brodie Retallick and Liam Squire are all unavailable due to injury.
Hookers: Liam Coltman, Nathan Harris, Codie Taylor.
Props: Owen Franks, Tim Perry, Angus Ta’avao, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi.
Locks: Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Whitelock.
Loose Forwards: Sam Cane, Vaea Fifita (Argentina test), Shannon Frizell, Jackson Hemopo, Kieran Read (South Africa test), Ardie Savea, Luke Whitelock.
Halfbacks: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.
First Fives: Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga.
Midfielders: Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams.
Outside Backs: Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith.
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