For the second time in four years Beauden Barrett finds himself heading to Argentina taking an opportunity that was initially destined for another No 10.

Lima Sopoaga, who was pencilled in to start against the Pumas next week, hasn't made the flight because he's waiting for his wife to give birth to their first child.

Sopoaga is now almost certainly not going to play in Argentina but will probably rejoin the squad in South Africa. That means Barrett, who was going to have a week off, will likely start in Argentina and probably again the following week in South Africa.

The same unexpected opportunity for Barrett cropped up in 2014 when he expected to be on the bench for the tests against Argentina and South Africa. That all changed when first choice first-five Aaron Cruden was left at home after reporting late to the airport.


All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said that the late change isn't such a big deal as they had factored in the possibility of Sopoaga's baby not arriving on time and that Barrett had been on stand-by. He suggested that the outcome of Barrett not being granted the rest period the coaches feel he needs, is that he may now join the European tour a week later.

"Beauden is now coming because Lima and Miriam haven't had their baby yet," said Hansen. "He will stay and more than likely join us in South Africa. "That one was always a flexible plan because we knew first babies don't always come on time. So not too bothered by it.

"It was the travel we didn't want to put him [Barrett] through. We might find a way to give him a bit of a break after the Aussie game and bring him to the Barbarians game late because he won't be playing in that anyway. The Barbarians game will be an opportunity for the lesser test match guys, the lesser game time guys."

Hansen also revealed that injury victims Joe Moody and Owen Franks have both now had successful surgeries which they needed on, respectively, their shoulder and Achilles. Both are on track to resume training in time to be start Super Rugby with the Crusaders next year.

Israel Dagg has also learned that he won't need surgery on his knee. The medics believe a prolonged rest period should fix it and he too should be able to resume full training by the start of Super Rugby next year.