All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett says it's hard to make a decision around his availability for the Rugby Championship later this year with how unpredictable Covid-19 continues to be.
Barrett told Gold AM this Saturday's Ranfurly Shield challenge where he'll turn out for Canterbury against Taranaki "could be my last game for a couple of weeks".
"[My wife] Hannah and I haven't spoken to any media, you're the first I've spoken to about this," Barrett said.
"We don't have much in front of us, in facts and details. It's hard to make a decision.
"As professional rugby players we're required to turn up and perform – it's not every day you get to pull on the black jersey. It's not something you take lightly, that decision.
"This thing is changing every day, it is not even confirmed that South Africa and Argentina will come over. There's a lot of water to go under the bridge."
The comments come after Richie Mo'unga hit out at a report earlier this week suggesting some All Blacks were considering withdrawing from this year's Rugby Championship for family reasons. The tournament is now set to be hosted in Australia after New Zealand fell out of favour.
“It’s actually quite laughable really, it’s the first I heard of it,” Mo'unga said on Tuesday.
“I feel like it's tricky when speculations like that do come out and it can be harmful or sad for family members, especially with uncertain times coming up, we’re not sure how long we're away for.”
“It’s quite sad for the wife to hear rumours sort of being made up like that.”
Mo'unga and fellow All Black TJ Perenara have recently become fathers while others such Sevu Reece and Barrett are expectant dads.
"I'm sure players with newborn babies, soon-to-be-fathers will have conversations and make those decisions in their own time with [All Blacks coach] Ian Foster and the management," Mo'unga said.
Barrett added this morning it's all speculation at the moment.
"Journos are getting a bit excited – have too much time to think of what ifs and all that sort of thing."
However there was one thing Barrett was certain about - his excitement at potential afternoon Bledisloe Cup Tests in New Zealand.
"A big tick all round," Barrett said.