Rugby: Barrett brothers absent from New Zealand group against Japan.
The Barrett brothers, Beauden, Scott, and Jordi remained in the nation to attend funerals. Injuries have also rendered Sam Whitelock and Will Jordan unable to play.
There are six All Blacks players that did not go with the New Zealand group that left early on Saturday morning (local time) for Japan, where they will play the first match of their autumn tour in one week. Among those players are the three Barrett brothers.
Coach Ian Foster stated that the five Barrett brothers, as well as the three Beauden brothers, will remain in New Zealand to pay their respects at the death of their grandmother. Jordie and Scott Barrett will eventually catch up with the rest of the team.
Scrum-half Folau Fakatava, who earned his maiden test cap in July against Ireland, will be sidelined for a significant amount of time due to a knee injury that he sustained during training.
Two other players, second-row Sam Whitelock and winger Will Jordan, are both out for an unknown amount of time with inner ear problems. However, head coach Scott Foster has expressed his hope that Whitelock will return for the first game in Europe, which is scheduled to take place on November 6 against Wales.
It has been decided to add four more players to the squad: hooker Asafo Aumua, scrum-half Brad Weber, second-row Patrick Tuipulotu, and versatile full-back Damian McKenzie.
The New Zealand national football team will kick off their tour on October 29 against Japan in Tokyo. After that, they will play Wales, Scotland, and England.