26 Nov 2010

NZRU president wants Grand Slam for West Coasters.

6:00 am on 26 November 2010

The All Blacks will wear white armbands in Sunday morning's match against Wales in memory of the 29 men who died in the Pike River mine.

The assistant coach Steve Hansen says news of yesterday's second explosion hit the team hard, especially the New Zealand Rugby Union's president .

John Sturgeon is a West Coaster and a former coal miner with 38 years in the industry.

He says the players and coaches also asked the Welsh Rugby Union for a minute's silence at the Millennium Stadium, although he was a little reluctant to approach the head coach Graham Henry.

Sturgeon says he told Henry it was very nice gestuure but didn't want to disrupt the team's preparations at the end of a long season because a grand slam's important, especially for west coasters.