Quick facts on Sir Colin Meads' stellar career


"We will miss him terribly", she said.

After announcing in August (2016) that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after feeling "crook" (sick) for six months, he asked for privacy as he fought the disease.

His loss will be mourned throughout the rugby-playing world.

Kiwis are paying tribute to Sir Colin Meads by leaving rugby balls outside their homes.

He played 133 games for the All Blacks and even if only 55 of them were tests, that was still a record for the national team.

New Zealand prime minister Bill English said he was not only a great All Black but a "genuinely good bloke".

The Pine Tree, labelled as such for his massive presence within his teams, captained the side 11 times, including in his final four Tests, when the British and Irish Lions travelled to New Zealand. "He was no-nonsense, reliable, hardworking, warm and very generous with his time", English said. I thought I'd give it a go. In a speech, former All Blacks captain Brian Lochore said: "What he has done for Te Kuiti is fantastic. but what he has done for New Zealand is unsurpassable".

After retiring, he continued to work his farm into his 70s before moving into the nearby township of Te Kuiti where he was ever ready to share his knowledge.

Meads was considered the enforcer for the All Blacks - the player who did not, as former sports journalist and author Ron Palenski once said, take a backwards step.

Although he began his global career as a flanker, it was as a lock that he played most of his rugby.

There was controversy, most notably when he ended the career of Australia's Ken Catchpole by pulling the halfback's leg in a ruck. He retired from worldwide rugby in 1971 after captaining a young All Blacks team to their first ever series loss to the British and Irish Lions. With a pint of beer clutched in one hand Meads would regale audiences with droll recollections of his career and pithy observations on the state of the modern game.

"RIP Sir Colin Meads".

Meads is survived by wife Verna and their five children Karen, Kelvin, Rhonda, Glynn and Shelley, their 14 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.