Dragons winger Jason Nightingale has been ruled out of the Kiwis squad to play Australia next month because of a knee injury.
The 25-year-old has been forced to undergo knee surgery before the Test at Townsville’s Dairy Farmers Stadium on October 13.
Lengthy rehabilitation means Nightingale will be sidelined until early next year.
Dragons’ teammate Nathan Fien has also been excluded from selection after calling retirement on his international career earlier this week.
Nightingale has represented New Zealand on 16 occasions, including the side which won the Four Nations tournament in 2010.
‘‘Jason will have procedures performed to his knee that will require a lengthy rehabilitation period,’’ Dragons performance director Andrew Gray said.
‘‘Consequently, this has meant he will not take part in the upcoming international Test involving New Zealand.’’