Wellington scrum-half TJ Perenara and hooker Dane Coles have been released from the All Blacks squad to play in the ITM Cup.
The pair are set to turn out for the Lions in Thursday night's ITM Cup opener against Counties Manukau.
It is believed that the All Black selectors would like Coles to get more game time under his belt after recently returning from a calf injury. As a result veteran hookers Keven Mealamu and Andrew Hore will do battle with Australia.
Despite the decision to make him available for domestic duty, Coles is upbeat about his chances of making it into Steve Hansen's matchday 22 down the road.
"I'd like to think so but at the end of the day it's probably up to the ABs coaches and I'm sure they'll be seeing the footage and see how I'm going," he said.