Sir Colin Meads: Steve Hansen reflects on the life of a legend

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has reacted to the news of the passing of Sir Colin Meads.

On Sunday, Sir Colin lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, aged 81. He is survived by his wife and five children.

Speaking to the media on Sunday afternoon, Hansen said it was sad to see the "Kauri tree fall".

"On behalf of the All Blacks, we'd like to pass on our condolences and sympathy to the family," Hansen said.

"He is a legend of the game, a legend of New Zealand's game, and it is always sad when one of the big Kauri tress fall - and that is what has happened."

Sir Colin played 133 games for the All Blacks, including 55 Tests, from 1957 to 1971, and was named Player of the Century at the NZRU awards in 1999.

Hansen said Sir Colin had left a long-lasting legacy on rugby, not only for his play on the field, but for everything he did off the field.

Sir Colin Meads.
Sir Colin Meads. Photo credit: Getty Images

"His ability to play the game first and foremost and his passion for rugby long after he stopped playing - he was a coach; he was a manger for the All Blacks, and at grassroots he was involved.

"He didn't just play for the All Blacks; he didn't just play for King County or his club; he just gave back in many other ways and he is true rugby.

"That will be his legacy."

All Blacks captain Kieran Read also shared his thoughts.

"This is an incredibly sad day," said Read.

"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.

"He is an absolute legend, not only in New Zealand rugby, but in world rugby.

"On behalf of all players, our thoughts go out to his family at this time."

Newshub. 

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz