All Blacks legend Brian Lochore passes away aged 78

Sir Brian Lochore played 68 times for New Zealand between 1964 and 1971
Sir Brian Lochore played 68 times for New Zealand between 1964 and 1971
©PA

All Blacks legend Sir Brian Lochore has passed away at the age of 78 following a battle with cancer.

Lochore made 68 appearances for New Zealand between 1964 and 1971 in which he led them in 46 games. Even though he announced his retirement in 1970, he was requested to play one more game for an injury hit All Blacks side in 1971 against the British and Irish Lions.

"It is with great sadness and grief that we announce that Sir Brian succumbed to his battle with cancer," read a statement released by New Zealand Rugby.

"We have lost a genuine legend of our country, an unwavering figure on the field, and a highly respected figure off it.

"His family has lost a devoted husband, father and grandfather and for many of us, a great friend.

"It is not over-stating the facts to say that Sir Brian Lochore was the saviour of New Zealand rugby on several occasions and many of us have lost a great mate."

He became the selector of All Blacks in 1985 and went on to coach them a year later. He went on to guide New Zealand to the inaugural Rugby World Cup title in 1987.

“HE is one of the most respected men in New Zealand, not only in rugby but all facets of New Zealand life as well as being hugely respected and held in high regard around the world," said present All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

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