All Blacks coach Ian Foster has named a 35-strong squad to travel to Australia ahead of the Rugby Championship and Northern tours to USA and Europe.
The All Blacks squad assembled in Auckland today to fly to Australia ahead of their second-round Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies in Perth next weekend, which doubles as the third Bledisloe Cup test between the sides.
The All Blacks will then complete the rest of the Rugby Championship, which will be based in Queensland, before heading up north for tests in America and Europe.
As previously reported by the Herald, stand-in captain Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Richie Mo'unga will not travel with the squad to Perth due to the imminent arrival of babies.
That will leave the All Blacks needing a new captain for the third Bledisloe, with Whitelock having assumed the role from injured openside flanker Sam Cane and Smith leading the team against Fiji in Dunedin in July.
The missing trio will fly to Queensland for the remainder of the Rugby Championship and may be forced into a hard quarantine which involves hotel isolation for two weeks.
That situation would likely take them out of contention for the test against the Pumas on the Gold Coast on September 12.
Hooker Dane Coles remains on the sidelines as he nurses a calf injury.
Foster said the All Blacks are preparing for a packed schedule.
"We'll be playing ten tests in 12 weeks in both the southern and northern hemispheres, and with Covid-19 travel and quarantine restrictions, this will be a tour like no other for us in the professional era.
"We can't wait to get underway and once again represent our country on the world stage."
The All Blacks squad departs to Perth at 6.30pm today.
The All Blacks' next test is against Australia before taking on Argentina and South Africa.
All Blacks initial travelling squad
Hookers: Asafo Aumua, Samisoni Taukei'aho and Codie Taylor.
Props: George Bower, Ethan de Groot, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Angus Ta'avao, Karl Tu'inukuafe and Ofa Tuungafasi.
Locks: Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu and Tupou Vaa'i.
Loose forwards: Ethan Blackadder, Akira Ioane, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea and Hoskins Sotutu.
Halfbacks: Finlay Christie, TJ Perenara and Brad Weber.
First five–eighths: Beauden Barrett.
Midfielders: Braydon Ennor, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown and Quinn Tupaea.
Outside backs: Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie and Sevu Reece.