Sir Colin Meads dies age 81
Legendary former All Black Sir Colin Meads has passed away, aged 81, according to reports.
The former All Black had been ill for the past few months with a kidney problem and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last August.
Sir Colin will leave behind a legacy as one of our very best rugby players.
However the man nicknamed 'Pinetree', because of his physical size and strength, was much more than that. For many New Zealanders he was the quintessential Kiwi: stoic, steadfast, and dependable.
In an interview before he died, he said: "I do recollect actually playing and starting, and saying well now I'm an All Black and from there on I made a statement - that it's one thing to be an All Black, it's another thing to be a good one."
And a rugby-mad country did depend on him, as he wore the black jersey 133 times in his 15-year career in the All Blacks.
"Well the best moment is when you're first picked. Just to become an All Black and to just get to play for the All Blacks," he said. "That's the greatest moment when you're first selected and your name's read out. It's a real shock and it's a great thrill."
Sir Colin leaves behind his wife and four children.