Rest looms for McCaw
All Blacks openside Richie McCaw is expected to be rested for their second November international against Italy so as to look at potential new captains.
McCaw, who will take a six-month break after the end-of-year series, is expected to be given 80 minutes off when New Zealand face the Azzurri.
That would allow head coach Steve Hansen to get a look at potential new skipper Kieran Read or Dan Carter and also allows an opportunity for Adam Thomson, Sam Cane or Victor Vito to prove they are the most suitable replacement to fill the number seven spot while the veteran flank rests.
"That is a possibility and I see that as a positive," Hansen told Fairfax when asked about whether he would give McCaw a rest in that tour match.
"It will give someone the chance to take over the leadership.
"Kieran Read or Dan Carter are probably the two leading candidates, depending on what the final selections are."
New Zealand open their November schedule against Scotland at Murrayfield before facing Italy, Wales and finally England at Twickenham on December 1.