ABs plan for Hansen's possible absence
The All Blacks say they are planning for all contingencies should head coach Steve Hansen been unable to travel to Brisbane for the All Blacks' Beldisloe Cup test against Australia on Saturday.
Hansen's elderly father Des is seriously ill in Christchurch where the All Blacks are based this week before they cross the Tasman on Thursday.
Steve Hansen has taken a leave of absence from the team to be by Des' bedside.
The pair are understood to be very close.
Des, a trail-blazing coach at Christchurch club level in the 1980s, was an early coaching mentor to his eldest son.
In recent years Steve has played a big part in Des' life as a caregiver after his father's health faltered.
Hansen's assistant coach Ian Foster fronted media in Christchurch early this afternoon and said the situation was "serious" and "we are all feeling from him".
He did not know if Hansen would make the team's flight across the Tasman on Thursday.
"He is still heavily involved with the planning but he is spending a lot of time with his family.
That's the key thing for him right now. We just carry on as normal and we are trucking along without him."
The team trains at Linwood's club ground tomorrow, have Wednesday off, train again on Thursday morning before they leave Christchurch for Australia.
Senior All Black Conrad Smith added the team's thoughts were with their boss and the team's senior players had rallied in his absence to fill the void.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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