All Blacks scrum-half Piri Weepu will not be involved for Auckland in the ITM Cup Final against Canterbury.
That is the word from Auckland coach Wayne Pivac who said he has decided to stick with the players who got the team to the final.
Weepu and prop Charlie Faumuina were made available for the final by All Blacks' management after last weekend's drawn Bledisloe Cup Test, but only Faumuina will be in the matchday 22.
Pivac, who will announce his squad on Thursday, explained that Faumuina would be included only because New Zealand U20 prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi had a broken thumb.
"It's very simple - we hadn't planned to use any All Blacks, to be honest," he told the New Zealand Herald.
"The halfback one, we've been doing a lot of work in the last six to eight weeks and it's all based around what we do at eight, nine, 10 and 12.
"We just think it's a big ask [Weepu] coming in and trying to control the game for us.
"Alby has been doing a pretty good job, he has been playing a lot of 80-minute games. We're putting the team first and that's the decision that I've made."
Pivac's decision is interesting considering the options he has as Mathewson's back-up.
Scott Patterson was named as the replacement scrum-half for last weekend's semi-final win over Wellington but had to withdraw after injuring his back during the warm-up and has been sidelined for the final.
Instead Wayne Ngaluafe, a former New Zealand U19 player, who has been struggling with a knee injury for most of the season, looks likely to get the nod, ahead of 66-Test veteran Weepu.
Defending champions Canterbury are allowed to select All Black props Wyatt Crockett and Ben Franks for the final.