New Zealand rest Kieran Read for Test against Argentina

Kieran Read will join the squad for the final round clash against South Africa
Kieran Read will join the squad for the final round clash against South Africa

New Zealand head coach Steven Hansen has rested skipper Kieran Read for the upcoming round of the Rugby Championship clash against Argentina.

Hansen said the decision was taken after the team management decided to manage the workload of the 32-year-old as he returned to the All Blacks duty after recovering from a back surgery earlier this year.

Read's place in the squad has been taken by loose forward Vaea Fifita, who will return to New Zealand following the game against Argentina.

“We always had a plan to manage Kieran’s long-haul travel this year, following his return to rugby after back surgery, so he’ll miss the trip to Argentina and re-join the squad in South Africa for the Test against the Springboks," said Hansen.

Dane Coles, Joe Moody, Brodie Retallick and Liam Squire, who were injured earlier in the competition will continue their rehabilitation.

Despite a defeat to South Africa in the previous round, All Blacks continue to top the Rugby Championship 2018 table with 16 points from four games.

New Zealand squad for final two rounds:

Forwards: Liam Coltman, Nathan Harris, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Tim Perry, Angus Ta’avao, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane, Vaea Fifita, Shannon Frizell, Jackson Hemopo, Kieran Read (South Africa only), Ardie Savea, Luke Whitelock

Backs: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith