Hundreds have gathered for the funeral of former All Black captain and New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Jock Hobbs in Wellington today.
All Black captain Richie McCaw is among the New Zealand rugby luminaries attending the service at Old Saint Paul's, which began at 1pm.
McCaw told the service that for Hobbs, the All Blacks cap stood for courage, commitment and mateship.
He had saved the game of rugby, but if that was put to one side "I think you'll agree we've lost a mate, just a genuine good bugger''.
Hobbs' younger brother Peter said Jock did not make his status felt and never thought he was special.
"To all of us that knew and loved him, Jock was just Jock.
"He showed enormous focus, determination and courage - courage that shone through in his fight with cancer."
Hobbs' friend Rob Morrison said he did not lose his battle with cancer, but his death was the end of a life spent winning.
"As he leaves this field today we know he gave it everything. He was a winner.''
A large marquee with a video feed has been set up outside the church to accommodate guests who were unable to get seats inside.
The All Blacks arrived about 10 minutes before the service and proceeded in with the family.
Sporting greats among the guests include Hobbs' brother-in-law Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, former All Blacks coach Graham Henry, and former players Sir Colin Meads and Grant Fox.
Prime Minister John Key, his wife Bronagh and Sports and Recreation Minister Gerry Brownlee arrived shortly before the ceremony began.
Hobbs died on Tuesday at the age of 52 after a long battle with leukaemia.
The family have requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.
- APNZ By Matthew Backhouse |