New Zealand have released 17 players back to their ITM Cup provinces including fly-half duo Beauden Barrett and Lima Sopoaga.
There was no comment from All Black coach Steve Hansen over the choice of the players released, but interestingly Colin Slade was not one of the 17.
The majority of those who have been retained by New Zealand look to be certainties to make the World Cup, so it may be that Barrett and Sopoaga are fighting for one spot.
Elsewhere Israel Dagg and Liam Messam were also released to their sides. New Zealand must name their final 31-man squad for the World Cup by August 31.
Players made available for round two of the ITM Cup this week: Cory Jane, Jeremy Thrush (Wellington), Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam (Waikato), Lima Sopoaga (Southland), Israel Dagg (Hawke's Bay), Charlie Faumuina, Charles Piutau (Auckland), Ryan Crotty, Joe Moody, Patrick Osborne, Matt Todd (Canterbury)
Players made available for round three of the ITM Cup next week: Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty), Cory Jane, Jeremy Thrush, Victor Vito (Wellington), Israel Dagg, Ben Franks (Hawke's Bay), Charlie Faumuina, Charles Piutau (Auckland), Ryan Crotty, Joe Moody, Patrick Osborne, Matt Todd (Canterbury), Beauden Barrett, James Broadhurst (Taranaki)