All Blacks pay tribute to miners
The New Zealand rugby team paid tribute today to the miners killed in the country's pit disaster.
All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen said the thoughts and prayers of everyone involved in their British Isles touring party were with the families affected by the tragedy at the Pike River mine.
Authorities have said there is almost no hope of any of the 29 men trapped underground being saved after a second huge explosion at the mine near Greymouth on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island.
Prime minister John Key has described the deaths of the 24 New Zealanders, two Britons, two Australians and a South African as a national tragedy.
And Hansen, whose side are preparing for a potential Grand Slam clinching clash with Wales at the Millennium Stadium, says the All Blacks will hope to pay their own tribute to those who lost their lives on Saturday.
"It's a terrible tragedy and you just can't imagine what the families are going through," he said.
"All our wishes, thoughts and prayers are going out to them and hopefully we can do something positive on Saturday.
"We have not had a team gathering since hearing that everyone has passed but we had a function last night and we said a prayer for the victims and families and I am sure there will be something happening on Saturday.
"I should imagine there will be a minute's silence and we will probably wear white armbands instead of black so they can be seen, although I am not sure of that, but we will definitely do something."
Hansen also revealed that the team are providing support to New Zealand Rugby Union president John Sturgeon, a former miner who knows many of the families affected.
Hansen said: "He is struggling to be fair, he knows a lot of the families and has been a miner himself. So we are rallying round him as best we can and everyone is very sympathetic towards him and those involved."
Prior to becoming a full-time professional coach, Hansen worked as a policeman in Canterbury, and he empathised with those rescue workers who were unable to help the trapped men.
"The people involved will be traumatised, gutted and frustrated as they would have wanted to try and find the guys," he added.
"But on the other hand there was nothing they could do, it was a tragedy that prevented their rescue."
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...