All Blacks loose forward Vaea Fifita plans to fight through the pain of losing his younger brother by pushing for a spot at next month's Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Despite the tragedy, coach Steve Hansen confirmed that Fifita would travel with the team to Perth for the first Bledisloe Cup test next Saturday at Optus Stadium.
- Ardie Savea has to play at number eight - Christian Cullen
- Sonny Bill Williams hits out at critics claiming he is under pressure
Fifita, who has played in both the All Blacks' tests in 2019, will likely feature against the Wallabies after Hansen confirmed fellow loose forward Luke Jacobson and first-five Josh Ioane had both been omitted from the travelling squad due to concussion.
"Obviously you've all heard the news around Vaea," Hansen said at Auckland airport. "It's incredibly sad his brother passing.
"We pass on our condolences to his family, but he is travelling, and we'll get round him."
Earlier this week, Fifta posted a message to Twitter to commemorate his brother.
"I can't believe that you're gone little brother. It hurts so much. You've been called by God to be with him. Although it's tough and we are struggling to understand why you had to go so young but I know you're in a better place. I miss you so much man," he said on Twitter.
Hansen said no replacements would be brought in for Jacobson and Ioane, who was in the squad in a non-playing role.
The cause of Jacobson's injury is unclear, while Ioane picked up a knock playing against Tasman in a pre-season friendly.
"We've got enough players - That's why we took the big squad," Hansen added.
"There are concerns [about Jacobson]. It's like all concussions, you've just got to take your time and when they're ready to play and train you bring them back."
The All Blacks have three tests remaining before their Rugby World Cup opener against the Springboks on September 21 in Yokohama.
Join us for live updates during the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup campaign