The All Blacks departed for Australia ahead of the first Bledisloe Cup test today, with star backs Sonny Bill Williams and Nehe Milner-Skudder not on the flight.

Williams was not expected to make the squad for Saturday night's opening fixture as he continues to recover from injury, while Milner-Skudder was left behind due to squad size. The All Blacks can only take 32 players, and Dane Coles will make the trip with the team.

With Milner-Skudder missing the All Blacks squad, he will be free to line up for Manawatū in their Mitre 10 Cup opener against Waikato in Palmerston North on Saturday.

The Wallabies also trimmed their squad ahead of the match at Sydney's ANZ Stadium. Rebels star utility Reece Hodge has moved a step closer to claiming the Australian No. 13 jersey, with Curtis Rona omitted from the squad.

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Jordan Petaia, Billy Meakes, Folau Faingaa, Jermaine Ainsley, Rory Arnold, Caleb Timu, Billy Meakes and Sefa Naivalu also missed the cut.

Forward duo Scott Sio and Michael Hooper, and outside back Dane Haylett-Petty have made the Wallabies squad despite injury concerns.