Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

100 Greatest All Blacks: Stan Meads

Brotherly affection was so deep Pinetree thought his younger brother Stan was his best locking partner in his All Black years.

That may have been true but it would have been fascinating to listen to the conversation at the Meads dining table in 1962 when Stan played a test and Colin was benched.

A week later they were united at Eden Park for the first time in a test with previous wise words from Wilson Whineray reminding Stan about concentrating on his work.

"There's only one Pinetree," Whineray told him. "He's got his style, develop your own."

Meads felt his best work in answering his skipper's demands came in the 1965 series against the Springboks when he had to mark the explosive lineout technician Frik du Preez. It was some battle with Meads amazed at the relentless drive of his opponent.

He was immensely excited about the chance to tour South Africa in '67 and do battle with the Springboks on their own turf.

"When the tour was cancelled, I was terribly disappointed and with the pressure of work increasing, I gave rep and international rugby away," he said.

He locked the All Black scrum eight times with his brother against the Boks and Lions.

"We had a bond, Stan was a natural, a real athlete," Pinetree said of his sibling. "He was a leaper too, a springheel."

The younger Meads suffered some terrible injuries with problems in both knees, appendicitis, concussions and broken bones but his talent then his energy to make a go of his farm stood out for those close to him.

Statistics
Date of birth: 12 July 1938
Position: Lock
Matches: 30
Tests: 15
Test debut: 22 July 1961 v France, Auckland
Final test: 10 September 1966 v British & Irish Lions, Auckland
Province: King Country
Test tries: 0
Test points: 0

- NZ Herald

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