17 Oct 2012

Father of All Blacks coach passes away

2:51 pm on 17 October 2012

The All Blacks may be without coach Steve Hansen for their final Bledisloe Cup test against Australia at the weekend after his father died on Tuesday.

Hansen's father Des had been ill for some time and Hansen hasn't been part of the team's preparations this week's test against the Wallabies in Brisbane.

The All Blacks team manager Darren Shand says the side extends its deepest sympathies to Steve and his family.

The All Blacks team will be named on Thursday with the squad leaving for Australia later that day.

The world champions, who have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, will be seeking their 17th successive victory, which will tie the record for the most wins by a top tier rugby nation.

The overall world record of 18 successive wins is held by Lithuania.

Hooker Keven Mealamu is expected to earn his 100th test cap in the match, the third New Zealand player to do so after Mils Muliaina and captain Richie McCaw achieved the mark at last year's World Cup.