THE All Blacks have rallied around coach Steve Hansen, whose father Des died on Tuesday in Christchurch.
But they also say it is business as usual in terms of their preparation for Saturday’s final Bledisloe Cup rugby Test against Australia in Brisbane.
It is not yet known if Hansen will travel with the All Blacks when they fly out from Christchurch on Thursday.
Assistants Ian Foster and Brian McLean had been overseeing much of the preparation while Hansen was spending time with his seriously-ill father.
Five-eighth Dan Carter says the mood in the camp is one of support for their coach.
“Obviously there’s some tough times ahead and our thoughts are with him and his family,” he said.
Carter didn’t think the All Blacks’ build-up would be affected, expressing confidence they would be able to cope without Hansen if need be.
“He can take as much time as he needs,” he said.
“We’ve got a great bunch of guys and great management to get on with the job, which I’m sure we’ll do.”
Lock Luke Romano doubted that the All Blacks would use the situation as motivation.
“It’s obviously a tragedy that’s happened and our thoughts go out to Steve and his family,” Romano said.
“But I think just going out there to put a good performance on the board in an All Black jersey is enough motivation for us.”
Team manager Darren Shand announced the news of Des Hansen’s death to journalists after training on Tuesday.
“The All Blacks’ family extends our deepest sympathies to Steve and his family at this very difficult time,” he said.
“Steve and the family thank everyone for their messages of support, and ask for privacy at this very challenging time.”
Shand said the All Blacks were continuing their Test build-up “as Des Hansen would have wanted them to do”.