Former All Blacks fullback Fergie McCormick died this morning in Christchurch Hospital.

He was 78 and had been battling throat cancer.

All Blacks legend Sir Brian Lochore spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay today to pay tribute to his friend.

"That's a real shock to me. I didn't know he was really ill...Fergie, he was a great mate, a great player and a great All Black."

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Sir Brian remembers McCormick as a "hard man" on the field:

"He was the guy that I relied on a hell of a lot...he was so reliable and tough. He was a great tackler, in fact he frightened a lot of people into almost stopping or kicking or throwing a bad pass or whatever because they didn't want to be hit by him."

Also in today's interview - Sir Brian remembers the Wahine disaster and reflects on another rugby great, Sir Colin Meads.

Listen below: