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Meads leads Hobbs tributes

Sir Colin Meads has paid tribute to Jock Hobbs, calling the 52-year-old, who died on Tuesday morning, one of New Zealand`s greatest ever sport administrators.

Hobbs passed away in Wellington following a battle with illness and, despite captaining his country, will best be remembered for convincing the International Rugby Board that the 2011 World Cup should be held in New Zealand.

"Jock was one of the greatest administrators New Zealand ever had. He saved the game," Meads told www.stuff.co.nz.

Meads, regarded as New Zealand's greatest ever player, Tana Umaga and then-Prime Minister Helen Clark were part of a Hobbs-formed delegation that secured the cup, which the All Blacks would go on to win, in Dublin in 2005.

"We've got him to thank for that (the World Cup), most definitely," Meads added.

A 21-cap international, Hobbs was well respected throughout the sport, with NZRU chief executive Steve Tew adding: "He's been needed a couple of times and when he's been needed he's stood up and he's delivered."

He was backed up by chairman Mike Eagle, who said: "New Zealand has lost an inspirational leader with an incredible passion for the game of rugby and the part it plays in our lives."

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