Blues utility back George Moala has been called up to the All Blacks squad as a replacement for Charlie Ngatai for next month’s three-Test series against Wales.
Ngatai, who like Moala, made his Test debut against Samoa in Apia last year, has missed the Chiefs’ matches against the Hurricanes and Waratahs after he was concussed in his side’s clash with the Chiefs on May 7.
He was the favourite to to start at inside centre against Wales but with him being sidelined Ryan Crotty is now expected to wear the All Blacks’ number 12 jersey.
Moala is set to remain with the world champions’ squad until Ngatai recovers.
All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster revealed that Ngatai’s recovery will be closely monitored.
“Charlie has still got symptoms so we made a decision after he came in on Sunday to send him home,” Foster told Fairfax Media.
“We feel that’s the best place to chill out for the next three or four days. We’re reviewing that on a daily basis.
“It’s one of those things you’ve got to give people time and space and when it comes right it comes right.
“We don’t know a definite time table to recover properly so it’s probably best to get out of the busyness of here and be at home.”