Sir Colin Meads has sat down for a rare on-camera interview at today's unveiling of a bronze depiction of himself in Te Kuiti, where he discussed his time and fears as an All Black.
Pinetree was rumoured to miss today's ceremony, which doubled as the opening of the Meads Brothers Exhibition - a rugby museum created by Sir Colin and his brother Stan - due to a decline in health while he continues his battle with pancreatic cancer.
But the rugby legend had his mind made up.
"Ten days ago, I would say there was no show," Stan said.
"But we came down here yesterday and he was in good shape and I said to him, 'what are you wearing?' and he said 'I'm putting my suit on' and I knew then, straight away, he was coming.
"There was no way he wasn't going to be here. It's been a struggle but he's handled it damn well."
Sir Colin had already spoken a few words earlier highlighting memories with good mate Sir Brian Lahore, who also spoke during the ceremony, but decided to stay behind to field a few questions about his career, the statue and the British and Irish Lions.
"It was different in our days," he said.
"We got picked in Wellington and we had to come home and play club football so for two weeks I had to come back here and play club football in Te Kuiti.
"I've heard of lots of people being picked for the All Blacks but never played because they've got injured between being picked and playing and I was just terribly scared I would get hurt before I played - I had to be an All Black."
British media in attendance also asked Sir Colin about his times facing the British and Irish Lions.
"I was one of the lucky ones in my career, I played against the '59 Lions, '66 and '71 so I had three great cracks at them.
But the question a lot of them really wanted answered came a bit later - what chances did the greatest player of last century give this year's touring side against the All Blacks?
"After last Saturday [beating the Maori All Blacks 32-10] they've got a good show," he said.
"I bet you it's gone from say 70-30 to 55-45 now and I wouldn't want to put my house on it!"