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All Blacks legend Colin Meads dies aged 81

All Blacks legend Colin Meads dies aged 81

Meads was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and breathed his last in hospital in his home town of Te Kuiti. He visited South Africa with the All Blacks in 1960 and 1970 and opposed the Springboks at home in 1965.

New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter: " Such sad news to wake up to today.

A sheep farmer from the rugged King Country district of New Zealand's North Island, Meads had great strength, stamina and toughness.

"This is an incredibly sad day".

Meads died the day after the world champion All Blacks had opened their Rugby Championship campaign with a 54-34 victory over Australia and the team expressed their sorrow from Sydney. - Former All Black Bryan Williams.

Along with his numerous rugby exploits Meads, who played 133 games for the All Blacks, was also well-known in recent years for his enthusiastic support of thoroughbred racing through participation as an owner in a large number of prominent gallopers.

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"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.

"Colin Meads made an extraordinary contribution to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities - one-on-one and on a large scale", Mr Jones said. "There is no doubt in my mind that he was New Zealand's greatest warrior".

"That was unfortunate that one, " Meads told The New Zealand Herald in 2014.

"I'll always remember him running around with a ball in one hand, he had such big mitts, and he was such an athletic guy for the position he played back in those days". His first points for the province were from a dropped goal.

He went into coaching and administration after his playing career and was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame and New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. Meads had played two test series in South Africa, but that was temporarily on hold because people had started to realise what was happening there politically wasn't acceptable. His brother, Stan, was also a noted rugby player, playing 30 matches as an All Black.


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