Auckland - All Blacks' flyhalves Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett will have more time to stake a claim for the starting role with Dan Carter not expected to return to the side until at least the final two rounds of the Rugby Championship.
Carter, who broke his leg during the Super Rugby final, had initially hoped to be sidelined for only a month and be available for the All Blacks' clash against Argentina in Napier on September 6.
The 32-year-old, however, said he was not expecting to play until the All Blacks travelled to Argentina and South Africa for their final two matches in the southern hemisphere competition.
The All Blacks, who play Australia in Auckland later on Saturday, will face the Springboks in Wellington on September 13 before they head to Argentina for a September 27 match in La Plata.
They conclude the championship against South Africa on October 4 in Johannesburg.
Cruden has assumed the starting role increasingly over the last two seasons as Carter battled a succession of injuries, but was off key last week against Australia and could find his position under scrutiny if he does not perform at Eden Park.
Barrett was considered the form flyhalf in Super Rugby but has yet to start in the position under coach Steve Hansen, who prefers to inject the Hurricanes' pivot off the bench in Test matches.