PARIS -New Zealand captain Sam Cane was missing from the All Blacks’ team sheet when it was released shortly before the World Cup opener against France on Friday.
Tupou Vaa’i was promoted from the bench with Dalton Papali’i replacing Cane at openside flanker.
The All Blacks were yet to make a statement, but New Zealand media was reporting Cane picked up an injury at the Captain’s Run on Thursday.
Ardie Savea was made captain, with Brodie Retallick brought onto the bench.
New Zealand, who have never lost a World Cup pool game, start the tournament against hosts France in a blockbuster opener at the Stade de France, kicking off at 1915 GMT.
(Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)