All Blacks captain Kieran Read will miss his side's Rugby Championship clash with Argentina in Buenos Aires, with Wellington flanker Vaea Fifita called in as a replacement.
Read, 32, will be sent straight to South Africa, missing the All Blacks' Argentinian leg of their Rugby Championship campaign, coach Steve Hansen confirmed to media at Auckland Airport today.
"The original plan was always to make sure we don't have him sitting in a plane too long," Hansen began.
"When you go to Argentina then to South Africa, short turnaround, and not a great ride from Argentina to South Africa.
"The smart play is to leave him at home and send him straight to Africa."
Read's absence sees Vaea Fifita return to the side, having originally been overlooked for the All Blacks' Rugby Championship campaign, with the Wellington flanker controversially stating that he didn't understand why he'd been dropped.
"He's always been on our mind," Hansen said of Fifita.
"We've given him the task of going and playing some Mitre 10 Cup, he's done that.
"With Reado not coming we need a replacement, he's the obvious man."