â00The 1971 Lions were a great side and very well prepared,â0 explained Meads, who was on the wrong end of a 2-1 series defeat 38 years ago.
â00They had brilliant backs like Gareth Edwards and JPR Williams, but they won the series up front.â0
Meads played for his country on 55 occasions during a 14â00year spell that began in 1957. During that time, he established himself as one of the hardest and most-feared internationals in the history of the sport.
The King Country lock captained his national side in all four Tests against the Lions in â0071, having also featured for the All Blacks in all four internationals in 1966 and the second, third and fourth Tests in 1959.
Those 11 Test appearances ensure Meads has appeared in more internationals against the Lions than any other man - a record that will surely never be broken.
Colin Meads (behind ball) and his All Blacks lost to the 1971 Lions
However, despite his huge success at international level, the Lions ensured Meadsâ00 All Black career ended in disappointment.
The 1971 tourists, who featured current Lions tour manager Gerald Davies, won the first and third Tests in Dunedin and Wellington respectively before drawing the fourth 14-14 in Auckland to clinch what is still their only series win over New Zealand in 105 years of trying.
â00They had a good forward pack and they matched us,â0 explained Meads, who was 35 by the time John Dawesâ00 Lions came calling.
â00And in rugby, if itâ00s not done up front, itâ00s not done all.
â00They also had a guy called Willie-John McBride, and he wasnâ00t too bad!â0
Since his retirement from the playing side of the game, Meads has remained involved through various administrative and public-speaking duties and has been a regular face on television advertisements shown throughout New Zealand.
Now 72, Meads has spent time as the chairman of the King Country union, as a national selector and as All Blacks manager.
When the Lions last toured Meadsâ00 homeland four years ago, the â00Pinetreeâ00 admits he was always confident that the All Blacks would win the three-match series, although he was disappointed with the nature of the challenge presented by the Lions.
â00I canâ00t look past a 2-1 series victory to the All Blacks â00 there is a lot of confidence in New Zealand,â0 Meads stated prior to the 2005 tour.
â00Rugby is such a power game these days, but I think we can match the Lions in the set pieces. And if we do, I think weâ00ll have the edge in the loose. Fans should see some expansive play from this All Blacks team.â0
Meads was exactly right. His countrymen did more than match the Lions up front and the loose forwards and backs did the rest as the All Blacks secured a 3-0 series win.
â00They came with too many people,â0 explained Meads.
â00(Sir Clive) Woodward had too many players, and he didn't pick the right ones - he showed that by the way he was including players by the third Test who weren't even in his original selection - and they had far too many coaches and managers.
â00In my day, we'd go on tour with one coach and one manager, and most of the time the players would wonder what it was that the manager did.
â00The Lions also lacked leaders out on the pitch, too. They lost (Lawence) Dallaglio early on, and Woodward really wanted (Martin) Johnson on the tour, too. They missed them badly.â0
The Lions will be hoping to banish the disappointment of 2005 and return to the glories of 1971 when they revisit New Zealand in 2017, but first there is the small matter of this summerâ00s tour to South Africa, followed by the 2013 tour of Australia to deal with. For now, the All Blacks can wait.