New Zealand have suffered a double injury blow ahead of the fourth round clash of the Rugby Championship against South Africa after Brodie Retallick and Ngani Laumape ruled out of the encounter.
Both Retallick and Laumape sustained shoulder and knee injuries respectively during the game against Argentina in Nelson where they left the field in the 10th minute.
Laumape is set to be sidelined for a minimum of two weeks while Retallick will undergo a scan in the coming week to assess the extent of the damage.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen confirmed the news on the duo and also revealed that Patrick Tuipulotu has been added to the squad as a cover for Retallick.
"Patrick will come in and Brodie will get scanned on Monday and then we’ll have a better idea how long he’ll be, but it could be a maximum six weeks,” said Hansen.
“Hopefully that will be all. Minimum maybe three, so he’ll be out for a wee while. Ngani’s got grade-one ligament damage so he’ll be two to three weeks.”
New Zealand are at the top of the Rugby Championship table with three bonus-point wins from as many games and will host the Springboks next in Wellington on 15th September.