New Zealand have included two uncapped players Du’Plessis Kirifi and prop George Bower in their 36-man squad for the Rugby Championship tournament that kick-off in Australia on 31st October.
The duo will provide cover as Ardie Savea and Nepo Laulala are on paternity leave while Joe Moody is currently assessed for a head injury. Savea and Laulala are expected to join the squad in a week or two while the rest of the squad are expected to depart to Australia on Sunday.
The squad also features uncapped lock Mitchell Dunshea along with Peter Umaga-Jensen, who made his All Blacks debut against Australia at Eden Park last weekend.
Three players along with Dunshea, Cullen Grace and Akira Ioane have been released to participate in this weekend's Mitre 10 Cup.
With South Africa pulling out of the tournament, New Zealand will face Australia in the opening two rounds on 31st October and 7th November which will also be part of Bledisloe Cup.
New Zealand squad:
Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, George Bower, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Mitchell Dunshea, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Shannon Frizell, Cullen Grace, Akira Ioane, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga, Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie, Sevu Reece.