Mark Telea replaces Leicester Fainga'anuku in New Zealand squad

Ian Foster has made a forced change to the squad
Ian Foster has made a forced change to the squad
©Steve Haag

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has called up uncapped Blues and North Harbour wing Mark Telea to the squad ahead of the upcoming Test against Japan in Tokyo on Saturday.

The decision follows after Leicester Fainga'anuku has decided to leave the squad due to family reasons.

This is the second time Telea has been added to the All Blacks squad after he was included as cover for Will Jordan during the July series against Ireland following a Covid-19 outbreak.

The 25-year-old played for provincial rugby sides North Harbour and Tasman and went on to make 39 Super Rugby appearances for Blues during which he scored 14 tries.

The squad was already hit by the absence of Beauden, Jordie and Scott Barrett, who are set to miss the game against Japan following the death of their grandmother while Jordan and lock Sam Whitelock are recovering from “inner ear issues”.

Telea has joined the squad along in Tokyo along with Patrick Tuipulotu, Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber and Asafo Aumua.

Following the game against Japan, the All Blacks will be facing Scotland, Wales and England in their November tests.