In another injury blow for the beseiged All Blacks, the lock Bryn Evans is to undergo surgery on his back and is out of rugby for the foreseeable future.
The 24-year-old Evans pulled out of the Hawke's Bay team for their provincial match against Wellington on Saturday after suffering back pain while training last week.
All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson says Evans has suffered a small disc prolapse in his back and will require surgery.
She says it's too early to tell just how long Evans will be out.
Otago's Tom Donnelly has joined the squad as cover.
Meanwhile, the following All Blacks are available for their Air New Zealand Cup provincial teams or other teams this weekend: Luke McAlister (North Harbour), Jimmy Cowan (Southland), Aled de Malmanche and Brendon Leonard (Waikato), Dan Carter, Wyatt Crockett and Kieran Read (Canterbury), John Afoa, Jerome Kaino and Josevata Rokocoko (Auckland), Jason Eaton (Taranaki), Tanerau Latimer (Bay of Plenty) and Cory Jane, Rodney So'oialo, Neemia Tialata and Piri Weepu (Wellington/Wellington B).