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The epitome of the All Black hard man who once played with a broken arm in South Africa.
Nicknamed ‘Pinetree’ because of his massive presence, this indestructible second-row from a humble farming background is a true icon of global rugby.
In 1955, aged 19, Meads played the first of 139 games for his provincial team King Country. A year later he made his All Black debut – as a back-row forward – on tour to Australia.
His international career lasted 14 years and spanned three decades, earning him 55 caps in 133 matches as an All Black. Meads captained his country for the first time in 1960 and for the last time on the occasion of his final test in 1971.
On retiring from playing, Meads moved into coaching and administration, notably acting as All Blacks team manager at RWC 1995. Meads was named New Zealand’s Player of the Century at the NZRFU Awards in 1999.