Whitelock, Smith, Mo'unga to miss to miss New Zealand's Perth game against Australia

Richie Mo’unga is expected to join the New Zealand squad for Queensland leg
Richie Mo’unga is expected to join the New Zealand squad for Queensland leg
©Steve Haag

New Zealand's experienced trio Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Richie Mo´unga will miss the third and final Bledisloe Cup test against Australia to be played in Perth on 5th September.

Following the confirmation of the fixture which was postponed from the original schedule of 28th August, the All Blacks have announced a 35-man squad.

All three Whitelock, Smith and Mo'unga are on paternity leave but is expected to join the squad along with injured Dane Coles during the Queensland leg of the tournament for matches against Argentina and South Africa depending on Covid restrictions and quarantine rules.

In the absence of Whitelock, Codie Taylor is expected to lead the side with Sam Cane continuing to recover from his injury.

Beauden Barrett is expected to start at fly-half while Damian McKenzie can also provide cover in the absence of Mo'unga.

"We´ll be playing 10 tests in 12 weeks in both the southern and northern hemispheres and with COVID-19 travel and quarantine restrictions, this will be a tour like no other for us in the professional era," said New Zealand head coach Ian Foster.

"We can´t wait to get underway and once again represent our country on the world stage."

New Zealand squad:

Forwards: Asafo Aumua, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Codie Taylor, George Bower, Ethan de Groot, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Angus Ta’avao, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Ethan Blackadder, Akira Ioane, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea and Hoskins Sotutu

Backs: Finlay Christie, TJ Perenara, Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett, Braydon Ennor, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Quinn Tupaea, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie and Sevu Reece