Sunday 24 September 2017 / 05:53 AM

RUGBY WORLD MOURNS SIR COLIN MEADS

Via All Blacks Media

New Zealand Rugby is mourning the loss of one of the most respected and iconic figures of the game, former All Blacks Captain Sir Colin Meads, who passed away earlier today, aged 81.

Famously nicknamed ‘Pinetree’, Meads was New Zealand Rugby’s player of the 20th century and was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009.

New Zealand Rugby Board Chair Brent Impey has paid tribute to Sir Colin for the unrivalled mark he left on the national game.

“Sir Colin is an icon of rugby and New Zealand. Uncompromising on the field, his exploits are that of folklore, while he was just as revered off the field.”

In a career that spanned almost two decades, Sir Colin played 361 first class matches, a feat only recently surpassed by Keven Mealamu. He appeared for the All Blacks 133 times including 55 Test matches, 11 as captain.

“Beyond his playing days, he continued to support the game at many levels, but it was his significant contribution and support for organisations outside of rugby, that made him a very special New Zealander.

“He contributed much to many organisations such as the IHC, the Crippled Children’s Society and the New Zealand Rugby Foundation, at a time when the game suffered a series of serious spinal injuries.

“He will be remembered as possibly the most treasured legend of our game.”

“Our thoughts go to Lady Verna and the Meads family at this time,” said Impey said.

All Blacks Captain Kieran Read said: “This is an incredibly sad day. Sir Colin was an icon of our game. I met him a few times and he was always keen to share a beer and have a yarn. On behalf of all players, our thoughts go out to his family at this time.”

All Blacks Steve Hansen said: “The thoughts of the entire All Blacks team are with Sir Colin’s family at this incredibly sad time. His achievements in the black jersey are part of the All Blacks legacy and his loss will be felt by rugby people all over the world.”

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