New Zealand will be without the services of Sam Whitelock for the remainder of the Rugby Championship to be played in Queensland.
Whitelock along with Richie Mo'unga and Aaron Smith stayed did not travel to Australia for the rest of the competition as they were granted paternity leave.
Following the birth of their babies, Mo'unga and Whitelock were granted exemptions to fly to Queensland on Thursday. However, the timing meant Whitelock's quarantine period would have kept him out of the rest of the tournament while Mo’unga is expected to be available for the game against the Springboks on 2nd October.
“The timing of arrival meant that Whitelock would have exited his two weeks’ hard quarantine with not enough time for a tight forward to safely prepare to play against South Africa on October 2,” NZR said via a press statement.
Earlier, Whitelock led New Zealand to Bledisloe Cup triumph with back to back wins over Australia at Eden Park in the absence of regular skipper Sam Cane.