Injury has ruled world-class five-eighth Dan Carter out of the All Blacks side to face Wales in Cardiff on Sunday (AEDT).
Aaron Cruden will replace Carter, who suffered the injury at training this week that resulted in swelling to his right achilles tendon.
Coach Steve Hansen brought Beauden Barrett onto the reserve bench after the Taranaki playmaker was cleared of any serious rib damage which had been causing him pain.
Hansen described the Carter decision as precautionary and it was unclear whether the 30-year-old would be fit to play in the final tour match against England at Twickenham next week.
"Looks like there's a 50-50 chance, a 60-40 chance so we'll just wait and see what happens.
"If it was a World Cup final, you'd look at it totally differently but it's not, and we've got a really capable young man as a back-up, so it's just not worth the risk."
While disappointed for Carter, Hansen was confident in their back-up plan.
"We've been here and done that not that long ago (June) in Hamilton against Ireland, and that day didn't turn out to bad, so hopefully it's a sign of things to come."
Carter was a standout performer against Scotland in New Zealand's tour-opening defeat of Scotland in Edinburgh, his 93rd Test. Cruden started the Test against Italy in Rome last weekend.
Earlier on Saturday, Carter tweeted a picture of the All Blacks' final training run inside Millennium Stadium. In the same post, he said: "Gutted not to be playing with these boys in this stadium tomorrow".
Halfback Aaron Smith moved freely at that same session after having been hampered this week by a knee niggle.
"Smithy's fine and come through training good. The strapping made a big difference to him and he's confident," said Hansen.
Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea, Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett, Piri Weepu, Victor Vito, Brodie Retallick, Charlie Faumuina, Wyatt Crockett, Dane Coles.