The hearts of rugby lovers around the world broke on Friday with the news of the death of former All Blacks captain, Jerry Collins. Collins and his wife Alana died in a bus collision in France while their daughter, Ayla, was airlifted to hospital in critical condition.
Collins was much loved around the world. Celebrated by fellow All Blacks players as being a very good man and a fierce rugby player. Rugby players and organizations around the world showed their love through social media and Collins’ former club, Wellington Hurricanes, wore black armbands in his honour along with holding a minute of silence before kick off against the Highlanders.
Collins was a New Zealand rugby player who debuted with the Wellington Hurricanes in 2001. After leading the All Blacks to a 25-19 victory in Buenos Aires in 2006, he became captain of the All Blacks and was again named All Black captain at the 2007 Rugby World Cup match against Portugal and Romania. Collins also played for Toulon during the 2008-09 season and the Ospreys where he held Player of the Year for the 09/10 season. He last played with the All Blacks against Fiji in 2013.
It is obvious with the outpouring of grief over his death that Jerry Collins left a mark on the rugby world and will be greatly missed as a person and for his contribution to rugby worldwide.