Coach Steve Hansen has stated that Julian Savea is still his plans even though he did not make the squad for the Rugby Championship on Monday.
Hurricanes team-mate Nehe Milner-Skudder has stepped into Hansen's 33-man squad for "The Bus", who has scored 46 tries in 55 tests.
The 11 jersey is seemingly no longer guaranteed to belong to the 27 year old.
He only played in one test during the Lions series and has mostly found himself on the bench for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby.
"Julian's been a very, very good All Black for us and done some great things – I feel for him a wee bit at this stage," Hansen said as reported by IOL.
"He's disappointed and so he should be. He's done a lot in the jersey, he's enhanced it when he's worn it and his time's not over.
"We've organized to talk to him later in the week where he'll be better ready to hear the messages and there are some good messages to give him."