All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Piri Weepu lacked pace in his game – and that is why he has been dumped.
TJ Perenara replaces Weepu. Victor Vito is also axed.
Hansen did not pussyfoot around the Weepu issue, saying the player wasn’t up to speed with the All Blacks style of play.
‘We just felt that how we are trying to play the game, the speed of the game we are trying to play, Pow (Weepu) is just struggling with that,’ said Hansen.
‘His last game really confirmed what our thoughts were. The speed of the game getting from A to B to C and because of that his skillset is not flourishing.
‘He knows he has to go away and get sharper and fitter than he is now, even though he is at the best he has been for quite some time. It is something which over a wee period of time we have seen and started to question and when we sat down and talked to him he understood what we were talking about.’
Perenara captained the NZ Secondary Schools in 2010 and debuted for Wellington later that year, played for NZ under 20s in 2011 and got his initial Super 15 chance last season.
Hookers: Dane Coles, Andrew Hore, Keven Mealamu
Props: Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Tony Woodcock
Locks: Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Samuel Whitelock
Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Steven Luatuam, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam, Kieran Read
Halfbacks: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith
First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett, Daniel Carter, Aaron Cruden
Midfield backs: Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith
Outside backs: Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea, Ben Smith
The Rugby Championship – All Blacks Tests
1. Australia (ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Saturday 17 August)
2. Australia (Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Saturday 24 August)
3. Argentina (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, Saturday 7 September)
4. South Africa (Eden Park, Auckland,, Saturday 14 September)
5. Argentina (Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, Sat 28 September)
6. South Africa (Ellis Park, Johannesburg, Saturday 5 October)