Battered All Blacks send players home early
NEWS: The All Blacks have confirmed the three players who will leave their 38-man Tri-Nations squad to return to New Zealand on Monday.
Prop Ofa Tuungafasi, who was suspended for three matches after the Brisbane Test, together with loose forward Du’Plessis Kirifi and midfielder Peter Umaga-Jensen, who both joined the All Blacks squad as replacement players, will return home.
The players leave the camp just two days after the All Blacks shock 15-25 defeat to Argentina on Saturday.
“Because of the unique challenges of the tournament, with a number of Test matches over consecutive weeks and the ever-changing world of COVID-19 quarantining, we brought a bigger squad than normal to Australia,” said All Blacks head coach Ian Foster.
“But we had always intended to send a few players back at this stage of the tournament, based on whether or not we had injuries.
“The advantage for the three players heading home is that they will get an extra two weeks of pre-season training and return to their Super Rugby clubs early.
“It also means we aren’t compromising our own preparation in the build-up for what will be a very important final Test of the year for us.”
The All Blacks have a bye this week before facing the Pumas again on Saturday, November 28.