All Blacks call up Beauden Barrett

Sep 22, 2017 - 5:27 AM Beauden Barrett will travel with the All Blacks to Argentina after all, named on Friday to replace expectant father Lima Sopoaga for the upcoming Rugby Championship clash against Los Pumas.

Sopoaga is staying at home with partner Miriam as they await the imminent birth of their first child.

He was all but certain to wear the No.10 jumper in Buenos Aires, with Barrett to take a well-deserved break after a hectic 2017 schedule.

Coach Steve Hansen told reporters that five-eighth Barrett - who has started every 2017 Test to date - would likely earn additional time off in early November, when his side takes on the Barbarians in London.

Sopoaga, meanwhile, would likely join the side in South Africa next week.

"That one was always a flexible plan because we knew Lima and Miriam were to have the baby, and babies don't always come on time," Hansen said.

"We were always flexible about that, I'm not too bothered by it.

"Beauden, he gets to play another Test match - he's a professional rugby player and said that it is what it is, and he's happy to be here."

Barrett was supposed to be one of six regular All Blacks to sit out the Test on October 1, with Hansen selecting a slimmed-down squad of 28.

Two players who will put their feet up are industrious locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock, with Scott Barrett and Luke Romano likely to start.

Elsewhere, Hansen confirmed that props Joe Moody and Owen Franks had successfully undergone surgery on their season-ending injuries.

Stalwart winger Israel Dagg, meanwhile, didn't need an operation on his niggling knee injury but would not play any more Test rugby in 2017.

Source: AAP

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