All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has admitted he submitted a request to New Zealand Rugby to allow Matt Todd to be selected for this year's end-of-year tour despite the fact he isn't eligible under current rules.
Todd is currently playing for the Panasonic Wild Knights after finishing his Super Rugby campaign with the Crusaders earlier this year, which would mean under normal circumstances he would be ineligible for the black jersey.
However, Hansen named Todd in his main 32-man unit as part of the larger 51-strong squad for this year's end-of-year tour, despite missing the cut earlier this year in both the French series and Rugby Championship.
"There's been no change of heart," Hansen said regarding the selection pattern around Todd.
Hansen told media Todd's selection was possible because he was returning to the Crusaders rugby next year.
"He's committed to New Zealand so when we lost Sam Cane, he's the obvious guy to replace Sam.
"He's very much in the mix for next year's World Cup."
However, Hansen admitted he did have to request to get Todd back in black.
"We went to the NZR board and requested that we use him with the understanding that he's coming back to play for the Crusaders. Thankfully they agreed."
The 30-year-old has earned 14 caps for the All Blacks since making his debut off the bench against France in 2013.