Cape Town - The All Blacks have called Highlanders loose forward Luke Whitelock up to their Europe Tour squad to replace Jerome Kaino who was forced to withdraw with knee ligament damage.
Kaino sustained a posterior cruciate ligament injury while playing against Whitelock for the All Blacks in their 31-22 victory over the Barbarians last Saturday.
It is cruel timing for the 82-Test cap veteran who had just earned himself selection after being dropped by coach Steve Hansen at the culmination of the drawn British and Irish Lions series in mid-year.
Whitelock, capped once, will join the All Blacks who are preparing in France for the first match of their tour against les Bleus on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 21:45 SA time.
He is unlikely to feature against France as he becomes the 43rd player in the squad, but is likely to feature in the match against a French XV in Lyon next Tuesday.