Aaron Smith

All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith has made a dash to Dublin after being called up as injury cover for upcoming Tests against Ireland and France. Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Trio of expectant All Blacks fathers OUT of final Bledisloe Cup clash

All Blacks Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Richie Mo’unga did not travel to Perth for the final Bledisloe Cup Test, but will link up with the 35-man squad “at a later stage”.

Aaron Smith

All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith has made a dash to Dublin after being called up as injury cover for upcoming Tests against Ireland and France. Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

All Blacks Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Richie Mo’unga did not travel to Perth for the final Bledisloe Cup Test, but will link up with the 35-man squad “at a later stage”.

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With their first match of that Rugby Championship programme being the postponed dead rubber Bledisloe Cup Test against the Wallabies in Perth (confirmed for Sunday, 5 September), the experienced trio were not named in the initial touring party.

They, along with veteran hooker Dane Coles, who is recovering from a calf injury, will join New Zealand’s squad at a yet-to-be-confirmed later date.

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The expectant fathers are tabbed to miss at least three Tests, with a two-week hard quarantine facing them on their arrival into Queensland, whenever that might be.

The All Blacks will play out the remainder of the Rugby Championship after the final Bledisloe for 2021 in Queensland.

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They are scheduled to meet Argentina on the Gold Coast on 12 September and then again in Brisbane on 18 September and then finish with back-to-back Tests against the world champion Springboks on 25 September in Townsville and 2 October back on the Gold Coast.

All Blacks fans will be hoping the star quartet will be cleared for those Springbok Tests.

Springbok fans won’t be!

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All Blacks head coach Ian Foster is looking forward to the tour.

“We’ll be playing 10 Tests in 12 weeks in both the southern and northern hemispheres, and with Covid-19 travel and quarantine restrictions, this will be a tour like no other for us in the professional era.

“We can’t wait to get underway and once again represent our country on the world stage.”

New Zealand travelling squad:

Forwards

Asafo Aumua, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Codie Taylor, George Bower, Ethan de Groot, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Angus Ta’avao, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Ethan Blackadder, Akira Ioane, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea and Hoskins Sotutu

Backs

Finlay Christie, TJ Perenara, Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett, Braydon Ennor, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Quinn Tupaea, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie and Sevu Reece