Rugby: TJ Perenara to wait for All Blacks comeback, released back to NPC ahead of Bledisloe Cup opener

TJ Perenara won't make his All Blacks return against the Wallabies in the first Bledisloe Cup test on Saturday, released back to NPC duty for Wellington.

Perenara, 29, returned to the All Blacks' squad for the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship, having been unavailable for the tests against Tonga and Fiji.

The 69-test halfback was ineligible for the All Blacks after missing Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby Trans-Tasman while playing in Japan's Top League, but is now available again after playing for club side, Northern United.

His release from the All Blacks squad means Perenara is free for Wellington's NPC opener, against Northland at Sky Stadium on Saturday. He's joined by hooker Asafo Aumua, another All Black released back to provincial duty.

Elsewhere, Hoskins Sotutu is available to make his Counties Manukau debut, released ahead of the Steelers' season opener against Manawatu in Palmerston North on Friday. Sotutu, 23, will play for Counties after moving from Auckland.

Braydon Ennor will be available to make his playing return, freed up for Canterbury in their first match of 2021, against Auckland on Sunday.

Ennor missed the All Blacks' Pacific tests after needing surgery for appendicitis earlier this year.

Lock Tupou Vaa'i will be available for Taranaki against Hawke's Bay in Palmerston North on Saturday. Vaa'i was the only All Blacks' squad member not to feature in the three tests against Tonga and Fiji earlier this year, as he worked back from injury.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster will name his side to face the Wallabies on Thursday.

Join Newshub for live updates of the All Blacks v Wallabies from 7pm Saturday.