11 Nov 2010

All Blacks to appeal Mealamu ban

6:22 am on 11 November 2010

The All Blacks will appeal the 4-week ban handed down to hooker Keven Mealamu for headbutting the English player Lewis Moody in the weekend's test at Twickenham.

The 31-year-old is set to miss the rest of the All Blacks' northern hemisphere tour after being given the ban.

Mealamu grabbed England captain Moody's shirt and appeared to move his head towards the back of the flanker's.

All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen says he's not a dirty player and never has been and this is a case they'll go to the death on.

Mealamu denied deliberately striking Moody during Sunday morning's 26-16 victory but was still banned by the International Rugby Board.

Having beaten England, the All Blacks face Scotland at Murrayfield this weekend, before meeting Ireland and Wales.

Hikawera Elliott is likely to start against Scotland this weekend.