8 Dec 2016

Statue for Sir Colin

12:22 pm on 8 December 2016

Former All Black Sir Colin Meads is to be honoured in his home town of Te Kuiti with a life size bronze statue in the main street.

Sir Colin Meads. The Mad Butcher Presents, "Final Word: A Tribute to Sir Graham Henry" at the Amora Hotel, Wellington, New Zealand on Tuesday 7 August 2012.

Sir Colin Meads. Photo: Photosport

The legendary forward, who played 133 games for the All Blacks from 1957-1971 and was named 'Player of The Century' in 1999, has always been a no fuss, no bother, kind of New Zealand bloke.

It is this attitude that has made him so beloved by rugby fans the world over, and indeed by locals who know him well for his humble, down-to earth nature.

So it's no surprise the 80-year-old's initial reaction to the statue plan was to wonder why people would want to see it.

However, the reaction from rugby's national body is quite the opposite.

New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey said, "This project is a fantastic idea and a great way for Te Kuiti to celebrate one of their own.

"It goes without saying that Sir Colin is one of New Zealand's special treasures - both as an All Black, but also as a great example of what it means to be a New Zealander.

"What we love about Sir Colin is that despite the international recognition and praise heaped on him, he just considers himself to be a guy from Te Kuiti.

"One might suspect that he'll be none pleased about this fuss, but even he will have to admit the statue will be a great attraction for tourists coming over for the British and Irish Lions tour next year, and that's got to be great for Te Kuiti."

Waitomo mayor Brian Hanna, who has been a driving force behind getting the statue project off the ground, is very pleased the man known the world over as Pinetree will soon be immortalised.

"This will be a fantastic tribute to our most famous legend.

"It is great New Zealand Rugby is right behind this opportunity to pay homage to Sir Colin, in the rightful place - his hometown.

"A statue of Sir Colin is well overdue."

-RNZ

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