ABs to take reduced squad to Argentina, SA

The All Blacks will take a reduced squad of 28 on their upcoming Rugby Championship trips to Buenos Aires and Cape Town, hoping to maintain energy levels for November's end-of-year tour.

The Steve Hansen-coached side blitzed the Springboks in their final home Test of 2017 on Saturday, romping to a 57-0 win.

Yet the rugby doesn't stop for Hansen's troops, who fly to Buenos Aires on Friday for a rematch with the struggling Pumas.

They'll then cross the South Atlantic to Cape Town, before a third Bledisloe Cup dead rubber against Australia in Brisbane on October 21.

A northern tour, taking in Tests against France, Scotland and Wales, will follow.

Hansen told reporters on Sunday he'd take a slimmed-down squad to Argentina and South Africa, with some players set to be rested.

A squad announcement will be made on Monday.

One player likely to miss the next two Tests is Israel Dagg, who needs time away from the game to heal a niggling knee injury.

Hansen all but confirmed the wing/fullback wouldn't play again in 2017, and would see a knee specialist in Christchurch on Monday.

"Sounds like there's a bit of cartilage surface damage to the knee that just needs a bit of rest," Hansen said of his 66-Test winger.

"The doctor is pretty confident that, if he gets the rest, he'll be fine - (but) that means he'd be out for the rest of the year.

"The big plus is that you have to expose other people to the coalface."

In further bright news for Hansen, the All Blacks - already shorn of several first-team regulars - suffered no further injuries in Saturday's Test.

Gun flanker Liam Squire was the only casualty, having suffered a head knock inside the first 30 minutes, but is expected to bounce back quickly.

Hansen challenged his side to build on Saturday's record thrashing and reach a similar level of performance in their upcoming Tests.

"It's going to be a tough ask, because it was pretty good - then you have to chuck in nine weeks, six Test matches, I think 11 time changes. How we manage that is going to be important," Hansen said.

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