Ryan Crotty could be available to play for the All Blacks against Argentina in Nelson in a couple of weeks as the selectors look to give others, including Richie Mo'unga, opportunities.

Crotty was knocked out against Australia in Sydney last weekend, a high-profile incident given his previous instances of concussion injuries over the last year and a half. But coach Steve Hansen said the midfielder would be considered for the test against the Pumas on September 8 should he pass all the required exams.

"He's fine," Hansen said. "We'll keep monitoring him and he'll be available next time we play."

Flanker Sam Cane passed his head injury assessment after getting a head knock in a tackle which he didn't get right in the second half against the Wallabies at Eden Park and could be available but the selectors are likely to make a few bold calls as they attempt to grow depth and ease the pressure on those with high workloads.


No 10 Mo'unga is an obvious candidate for his first start in a test after Beauden Barrett's exploits in Sydney and Auckland, with centre Jack Goodhue probably due for a rest too.

The pressure on Goodhue to perform over the past fortnight cannot be underestimated.

He was said to be extremely nervous before his breakout test at ANZ Stadium and did a solid job at Eden Park but he looked fatigued at times as the All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup for another year.

Lock Scott Barrett could come in for Sam Whitelock, Nathan Harris could replace Codie Taylor at hooker, and Nehe Milner-Skudder will likely get a run. The earliest that midfielder Sonny Bill Williams is likely to be considered is for the following week against the Boks in Wellington.

Richie Mo'unga. Photo / Photosport
Richie Mo'unga. Photo / Photosport

Hansen said his players had come through the Eden Park test well but that it had taken its toll.

"Obviously we're a bit battered and bruised. It was a big test match, a lot of tackling, big tackling going on throughout the whole team so there are sore shoulders, but most people pulled up pretty good," said Hansen, who confirmed Cane injured a knee and hip on Thursday and didn't train at all the day before the test.

The Pumas showed the threat they possess when beating South Africa 32-19 in Mendoza overnight, but the All Blacks selectors are unlikely to deviate from the plan they agreed before the Rugby Championship kicked off.

"You're always flexible in your thinking but we've got a plan that we've put in place and we just have to trust everybody to do their jobs," Hansen said. "You can't get sidetracked by results, you've got to understand what it is you're trying to do. They're going to be tough. Obviously they got a good win this morning … again it highlights how difficult it is to back up a big performance against the same opposition.


"South Africa won pretty easily last time. We know they're a good side and he [coach Mario Ledesma] has got them going well. They're playing probably a bit more fluently than they were. They're using a Super Rugby style game and we'd expect them to bring that into the test arena.

"We're very fortunate that we've got a strong squad and what will make it stronger is giving people game time from time to time. And trusting them, and through trusting them they begin to trust themselves and they grow, and all of a sudden people start talking about how much depth we've got."

Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett in particular have grabbed the headlines over the past fortnight but one man quietly making his way back to his best from a major back operation is skipper Kieran Read and Hansen likes what he is seeing.

"He's pretty near to giving us the best he's got," Hansen said. "Physically, in defence, he's been a colossus and his ball carrying has started [to improve], we saw a bit more of that last night, so, may it last for a long time."