All Black great 'Pinetree' Meads dies

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Meads was diagnosed with cancer past year and breathed his last in hospital in his home town of Te Kuiti.

We yarn to the farmer who scored the greatest All Blacks try ever - scored in Sir Colin's final test match victory in an All Blacks jersey.

Tributes were pouring in for Sir Colin Meads on Sunday following his death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81.

Having played 55 Tests for the All Blacks from 1957-71, Meads is considered one of the greatest players in history.

"As much as New Zealand rugby is in mourning today, so is South African rugby".

"This is a sad day for New Zealand rugby and for New Zealand", said the country's Prime Minister Bill English. "Long before Star Wars, the giant lock appeared as an utterly compelling Darth Vader".

McCaw never saw him play in the flesh, but knew him as someone built on physical and mental toughness. He visited South Africa with the All Blacks in 1960 and 1970 and opposed the Springboks at home in 1965. - Former All Black Bryan Williams.

"He had a few confrontations with other players".

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- New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey.

"The undefeated All Blacks of 1967, of which Meads was a leading member, was named as "the greatest team of all time", The Telegraph in Britain reported.

"So it was dealt with accordingly". "I didn't do it purposely to hurt him".

Had a successful career as an after-dinner speaker regaling crowds with some of the stories, tall tales and myths that had swirled around his playing career.

In Australia Meads was notorious for ending the career of Wallaby captain Ken Catchpole in 1968.

While he played at lock, he had blistering speed and massive hands which helped with the sublime ball-handling skills that would not look out of place in the modern game.

Meads was involved in rugby all of his life, going into coaching, management and administration after his playing days. His first points for the province were from a dropped goal.

Served as manager of the All Blacks in 1994 and 1995, including at the Rugby World Cup in South Africa.

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