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Absent Hansen no issue for AllBlacks

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Sportal.co.nz     16 Oct 2012     Getty Images

Assistant coach Ian Foster said on Monday that Hansen would be spending a lot time with his family but was still deeply involved in the planning as the All Blacks seek a record-equalling sequence of Test wins.

Victory over the Wallabies would extend their winning run to 17, equalling the mark set by the All Blacks from 1965-69 and the Springboks in 1997 and 1998. The International Rugby Union credits Lithuania's 18 consecutive wins from 2008 to 2010 as the official record.

Foster said the side's thoughts were with Hansen.

"The best thing we can do for him right now is to give him time with his family and do a very good job of preparing for what is going to be a really exciting Test match.

"We will just carry on as normal. We've got good structures and good people in the team and we're trucking along."

Foster said that while the All Blacks knew of the approaching record it had not played a big part in the preparation.

"We are certainly aware of it, but there are a few factors this week for us. We've got Kevvie's (hooker Keven Mealamu) 100th Test which is pretty special.

"The beauty about this team is that we get into really good routines as to how we prepare and we know if we prepare well from Sunday to Monday it gives us a great opportunity to play well on Saturday night.

"Things will happen if we do the process well."

Despite having the Bledisloe Cup locked away with the inaugural Rugby Championship, Foster said there would be no letting up although he replied 'maybe' when asked if there could be new faces in the All Blacks run-on team which will be named on Thursday.

"The reality is it is the third Bledisloe and we've already won the cup so it could be said there's reason not to do well, but for us it's about pride in how we prepare and play."

He said he was impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the All Blacks on their assembly on Sunday.

"We needed the break as there were a few tired people after the away leg and the travel, but everyone has come here really excited. To play Australia in Brisbane is a big challenge."