18 Oct 2012

Mealamu trying to put emotion aside for Bledisloe match

3:28 pm on 18 October 2012

The All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu will play his 100th test in Saturday's third and final Bledisloe Cup match in Brisbane and the veteran rake says he's trying to keep his emotions in check.

Mealamu will become just the third All Black in history to become a centurion behind former fullback Mils Muliaina and captain Richie McCaw.

With the death of coach Steve Hansen's father earlier this week adding to an emotional seven days for the team, Mealamu says he's heeding some pertinent advice from his skipper and is putting any thoughts of the milestone aside until after the match.

Mealamu and the All Blacks will have Hansen by their sides in Brisbane with the coach confirming he was never in doubt to make the trip across the tasman as his dad would have 'kicked his ass' had he not gone.

In the only other change to the team, prop Charlie Faumuina will get his first start with Owen Franks dropping to the bench.