All Blacks pivot Dan Carter and prop Tony Woodcock won't face Ireland on Sunday due to injuries sustained in the win over England.
All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter and prop Tony Woodcock will miss Sunday's Test against Ireland after sustaining injuries in the win over England, coach Steve Hansen revealed on Monday.
Carter's 100th Test appearance was ended when he limped off with an Achilles injury in the first-half of the 30-22 triumph at Twickenham, while Woodcock did not play in the second half after hurting his hamstring just before half-time.
Hansen said the pair would return to New Zealand as the rest of the squad prepare for the Ireland Test, in which they will bid to become the first international team in rugby's professional era to win all their matches during a season.
“Dan has not had a scan yet, but (team medics) said with the problems he's been having it's just too big a risk to go through the week,” Hansen told the All Blacks' official website.
“We've got Crudes (Aaron Cruden) and Beauden (Barrett) who can both do the job, so we'll just get on with it with those two.”
The Achilles injury brought Carter's season to an anti-climactic end. He was already scheduled to take an extended break from the game after the Test against Ireland in Dublin to try to ensure he is fit for the 2015 World Cup.
New Zealand, who celebrated four years at the top of the IRB ranking, were due to send a small group of players home prior to the final Test against the Irish.
This would follow the tour trend, where nine players arrived in Paris ahead of the team who faced Japan in Tokyo, and originally a small handful of players were due to start their off-season early.
However now the entire squad will remain intact.
“Once those two (Carter and Woodcock) got injured there were only going to be two going home,”added Hansen.
“So we spoke to the rugby union and they were of the same opinion of myself, that it's better to keep the group together and see out the season.”