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Kaino out of Argentina clash

NZN 19/09/2016

All Blacks enforcer Jerome Kaino has been omitted from his side's Rugby Championship trip to Argentina with a shoulder complaint.

The 33-year-old blindside flanker has been in sparkling form throughout the four-nation tournament but exited his side's 41-13 win over South Africa in Christchurch in clear distress.

He has had his injured arm in a sling for much of the week.

"I'm picking he won't be jumping around doing handstands," head coach Steve Hansen said after the match.

Kaino will remain in New Zealand rather than travel to Buenos Aires before rejoining the side in South Africa for the final match of the championship.

Highlanders duo Elliot Dixon and Liam Squire are the leading contenders to line up alongside Ardie Savea and skipper Kieran Read in the loose forward trio.

Elsewhere, the touring squad retains a similar shape to that which blew away Australia twice, as well as Argentina and South Africa.

Only openside flanker Sam Cane and playmaker Aaron Cruden will miss the full tour as they recover from hamstring and groin injuries respectively.

Prodigious utility Damian McKenzie, who was concussed for provincial outfit Waikato last week, has been named in Cruden's place.

He will need to pass a contact test on Wednesday to be cleared for the flight to Buenos Aires on Friday.

Injured backs Waisake Naholo and George Moala have also been named in the squad despite being under their own injury clouds.

If the All Blacks win their two matches in Buenos Aires on October 1 and Durban a week later, they'll extended their winning run against top-tier nations to 17.

This will match the record achieved by the Springboks from 1997-98 and the All Blacks from 1965-69 and again in 2013-14.

It will also set up a possible record-breaking match against Australia in the third Bledisloe Cup match in Auckland on October 22.

The All Blacks have reached 15 straight wins four previous times since 2006 but fallen short of 18 each time.

ALL BLACKS SQUAD: Dane Coles, Liam Coltman, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Elliot Dixon, Jerome Kaino (South Africa only), Kieran Read, Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Matt Todd, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Lima Sopoaga, Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Moala, Israel Dagg, Waisake Naholo, Julian Savea, Ben Smith.

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