Hooker Hikawera Elliot has been called into the New Zealand squad for the upcoming Autumn Internationals, which includes a Test against Ireland.
The Hawke’s Bay front row replaces Andrew Hore, who suffered an ankle sprain in the 19-14 ANZ Hong Kong Bledisloe Cup victory over Australia.
Kevin Mealamu is expected to start as hooker in the All Blacks’ forthcoming Test matches, which begin against Scotland on Saturday.
New Zealand then meet Ireland at Croke Park, Wales at the Millennium Stadium and England at Twickenham.
Mealamu was Hore’s replacement after he was forced off five minutes into the clash in Hong Kong.
Elliot and Corey Flynn, whose last cap was four years ago, are the two other hookesr in the tour party.
“(Hore) has had an X-ray which has been reported as normal. But the injury is serious enough for him to be unable to play,” said All Blacks team doctor Deb Robinson.