18 Oct 2012

Hansen always going to be at Bledisloe test

3:28 pm on 18 October 2012

The All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says there was never any doubt that he'd travel with the team for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup test in Brisbane despite his father passing away earlier this week.

Hansen's father Des died on Monday after a long battle with illness.

Hansen had taken a leave of absence from the All Blacks to be with his family and with Saturday's test a dead rubber, many wondered whether he'd make the trip across the Tasman.

However Hansen named his team on Thursday and made it very clear he was always going to be in Brisbane, saying his dad would have "kicked his ass" had he not done the job properly.

Hansen has picked hooker Keven Mealamu to start in what will be his 100th test, joining Richie McCaw and Mils Muliaina as All Black centurions.

In the only other change to the team, prop Charlie Faumuina will get his first start, with Owen Franks dropping to the bench.