Apart from prop, the All Blacks will also lament missing personnel in the second row.
Retallick, the vastly experienced and talismanic lock, won’t play against the Springboks because of the fractured cheekbone he suffered against Ireland. His power, physicality and sheer bloody-mindedness have been a constant feature for the All Blacks since he made his Test debut in 2012.
Even with him in the team the All Blacks’ inability to measure up to Ireland’s physicality in the recent Test series has been much talked about. The visiting pack held sway for large parts of the series, and while the All Blacks’ gamebreakers in the past (and the first Test) might have found a way to run to victory, Ireland this time shut down their escape routes.
The criticism would not have escaped the eyes and ears of the All Blacks’ forwards.
They are likely to be fired up to meet and better what the Boks throw at them, but the injuries have limited their options.