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'Gave me my first All Blacks jersey' - Tributes flow after death of NZ rugby great Sir Brian Lochore

Tributes have already begun to flow overnight following news of the passing of All Blacks great Sir Brian Lochore.

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Sir Brian Lochore was a humble farm boy who became a sporting legend. Source: 1 NEWS

It was confirmed late last night Sir Brian has died, aged 78, after a battle with bowel cancer.

The 25-Test No.8, who played 68 matches overall in the black jersey overall between 1964 and 1971, has had people from all around the world share memories and acknowledge All Black #637.

Both the rugby and wider community have acknowledged the sad news.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen responded after hearing of the news in Perth as the team prepares to battle the Wallabies next week.

"It’s with great sadness that we have heard that one of New Zealand’s tallest kauri has fallen," Hansen said.

"Sir Brian Lochore is one of 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.

"On behalf of the All Blacks and myself personally, we pass on our deepest sympathies to Pam, their kids David, Joanne and Sandra and the wider Lochore family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Arohanui from us all."

Captain Kieran Read added it was an "incredibly sad day".

"Sir Brian was an icon of our game. On behalf of all players, our thoughts go out to his family at this time."

Former All Blacks Nick Evans and Sean Fitzpatrick also paid tribute to Sir Brian.

International rugby also paid their respects.

Black Caps veteran Ross Taylor said he was honoured to have met him.

The All Blacks great alo recieved some kind words from politicians, led by Sports Minister Grant Robertson.

Some of New Zealand's top sports media personnel also shared fond memories.

Sir Brian is survived by his wife Pam, their children David, Joanne and Sandra, and their eight grandchildren.

The family have requested privacy but said details of his funeral would be released once finalised.