The All Blacks were boarding a flight from Italy to Ireland when news of New Zealand's earthquake with assistant coach Ian Foster admitting players had been unsettled by the drama.
"It was unfolding as we were boarding so we are just trying to gather information," Foster told reporters after the team arrived in London following their big test victory over Italy in Rome.
"Obviously we are all concerned about it. There has been a lot of texting back home. All we can say is that we are thinking about everyone back home.
"We don't really know how big and bad it is but we have read and heard lots of stories and some players and management had partners and family who had to move out of their houses so there is a lot going on. The most important thing for us now is to make sure that everyone is safe back home."
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The news of the earthquake was particularly unsettling for the Canterbury-based All Blacks who went through the 2011 quake in Christchurch
"Obviously soon as as I found out my wife sent me a text and I phoned home to make sure everyone was all right," said Crusaders and All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett.
"My thoughts go out to everyone affected by this and it seems to be right across the country. It sounds like everyone in the country felt this earthquake. Yep a bit shaken up by it because you think about those loved ones back home."