Sir Michael Jones: 'I'm still just that Westie boy'


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One of the country's favourite All Blacks says his new title will take some getting used to. Michael Jones is being knighted in today's Queen’s Birthday Honours, for his work since his rugby career with Pacific communities, and with youth. Sir Michael Jones became a hero to a generation of Kiwi kids in 1987 when his blinding speed and punishing tackles helped propel New Zealand to its first World Cup triumph. He said friends can relax about his new title - he's not expecting any bowing and scraping. "I'm sure my older sisters will keep calling me 'bubs' and uncle to the rest of them, and 'Iceman' to all the mates. "A few people might start calling me [Sir] but don't know if I'll be looking around quickly to see if it's me - I'll be thinking they're referring to someone else." LISTEN ABOVE: Sir Michael Jones speaks to Chris Lynch Since retiring from rugby Sir Michael Jones has worked to keep Pacific youth in school and out of gangs, and encouraging them to focus on academic achievement. He has up community trusts and even a high school, designed to help Pacific kids in New Zealand complete their education and achieve their goals. He said the idea is to show Pacific kids they have support and are part of a wider team. The aim is ultimately to "make the next generation better than us" and provide an environment for them to thrive. For a down-to-earth Aucklander more commonly known by his rugby nickname, "the Iceman", will his new title of "Sir" ever feel comfortable? "I still prefer to be remembered or seen as the westie boy from out west Auckland, Kiwi Samoan and that's me - nothing changes," he says. READ MORE: The full list of Queen's Birthday Honours 2017

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