Scott Barrett (center) will skip the five-game Nordic tour for family reasons. Photo / Photosport
All Blacks locks Scott Barrett and Patrick Tuipulotu will return to New Zealand and skip the five-game north tour, with Taranaki, 20, and Chiefs lock Josh Lord called up as team bolter.
Barrett, who has appeared in every game of the Rugby Championship, starting four of the six games, has her first baby due in November and wants to be there for the birth.
Tuipulotu is set to take a sabbatical with Japanese club Toyota Verblitz in 2022, but is due to bond with the team at the end of this year, and he has a young girl to consider.
Both players secured places at MIQ at a time when other New Zealand athletes such as triathlete Hayden Wilde and doubles tennis specialist Michael Venus, both of whom won bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics. , expressed frustration at not being able to return home.
Other athletes affected by access to MIQ include Paige Hareb, who pulled out of the World Surfing League’s challenger series last month because she couldn’t secure a spot.
Several members of the City Kickboxing Gym in Auckland, including UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker, have expressed their desire to move to America for the sake of their careers, due to the lockdowns and the MIQ situation in New Zealand.
Thousands of New Zealanders abroad have also failed attempts to secure MIQ seats in the much-criticized lottery reservation system.
With Barrett and Tuipulotu returning home, the All Blacks strengthened their team by calling Lord.
All Blacks centurion Sam Whitelock, injured captain Sam Cane, hooker Dane Coles and loose forward Shannon Frizell will also join the team in Washington DC, where they begin their five-game north tour.
The full All Blacks squad has 65 MIQ places on their way home after the final game of the year against France in Paris on November 20.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster said: “From a physical point of view, we have been through the Fortinet Rugby Championship very well. Therefore, we have decided to add fewer players than planned for the next one. part of our 12 week tour. The fact that NPC Bunnings is continuing into November also means that we are also able to bring in potential replacements, if needed. “
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