Rene Ranger has made himself unavailable for the All Blacks' upcoming Rugby Championship campaign.
The departing Blues utility will instead captain Northland in the ITM Cup.
Ranger leaves to play club rugby in France at the end of the year, but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had indicated he would still be picked for the tournament between New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina.
Northland coach Derren Witcombe says they found out yesterday he'd play a full part in their provincial campaign.
"Rene's made a personal decision, he wants to be home with his partner and baby so it's a pretty hard decision for him to make I believe, but we're chuffed.''
The All Black squad will be named tomorrow morning.