Rugby: All Blacks' MIQ windfall also stroke of luck for rookie lock Josh Lord

Josh Lord's surprise call-up to the All Blacks has been somewhat overshadowed by questions over how two other players were lucky enough to secure managed isolation spots to return to New Zealand.

The young Chiefs and Taranaki lock will meet up with the national side in Washington DC, joining veterans Sam Cane, Sam Whitelock, Dane Coles and Shannon Frizell as reinforcements for their upcoming northern hemisphere tour. 

Lord and Whitelock loom as straight replacements for Scott Barrett and Patrick Tuipulotu, who will return home early for family reasons, after contributing to the All Blacks' Rugby Championship triumph in Australia. 

With thousands of Kiwis - including many professional and international athletes - struggling to re-enter New Zealand through public lottery, Barrett and Tuipulotu seem to have hit the jackpot, grabbing two prized spots in last week's limited release, instead of waiting for their group booking, when the team returns in December.

"They were working hard on finding spots, we were working hard on finding spots and we only had some certainty around that last week," explains coach Ian Foster.

But while other athletes claim favouritism towards sports like rugby, cricket and netball over MIQ allocations, the Government denies any influence in the All Blacks' windfall.

Foster suggests Barrett and Tuipulotu weren't the only players hoping to come home, with almost two more months still remaining in a long offshore campaign.

"We were looking for more spots, just in case we had injuries," he says. "We weren't able to find more spots, but we prioritised that if we did get any, those two were the most important ones." 

Their good fortune also counts as a stroke of luck for Lord, 20, who is shocked at his call-up, after just five Super Rugby appearances.

"It was a bit of a shock really," he tells Newshub.  

"I think I'm a good bugger, I work hard and get stuck into everything. Obviously, I've got a bit of height, so hopefully help out in set-piece and everything."

At two metres tall, Lord may help bolster a lineout that let the All Blacks down in their championship loss to South Africa over the weekend.

"He’s just got a lot of good qualities about him, so it's an eye to the future, this selection, but one that does excite us," says Foster.

Lord's selection may not be great news for his dad though.

"I guess I won't be on the farm with my old man, but I'm sure he'll be alright," he grins.

Surely the old man will cope, now his son is an All Black.

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