All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock will miss the remainder of the Rugby Championship in Australia, but there is hope that star flyhalf Richie Mo’unga could feature in the final Test against the Boks.
Both Whitelock and Mo’unga were granted exemptions to quarantine in Queensland, landing on Tuesday, which came after the duo had stayed in New Zealand on paternity leave and did not travel to Australia last month with the rest of the All Blacks.
However, 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 2 October.
Mo’unga will travel and be available for that game.
“New Zealand Rugby understands that quarantine spots in Queensland are limited and are hugely appreciative of the efforts by Queensland Health, Rugby Australia and SANZAAR in assisting with this matter,” a statement read.
The All Blacks, who won their opening two matches against Australia, play Argentina in round three this weekend while the Wallabies play also unbeaten South Africa in a Gold Coast double-header.
Test-cap centurion Whitelock will rejoin the squad for their northern- hemisphere tour which starts in late October.