Jerry Collins

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Jerry Collins
Jerry Collins 2015-05-03.jpg
Collins featuring for RC Narbonne in 2015
Date of birth(1980-11-04)4 November 1980
Place of birthApia, Samoa
Date of death5 June 2015(2015-06-05) (aged 34)
Place of deathBéziers, France
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in; 75 in)
Weight112 kg (247 lb)
SchoolSt. Patrick's College
UniversityVictoria University of Wellington
Notable relative(s)Mike Umaga, Tana Umaga, Sinoti Sinoti (cousins)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker, Number eight
All Black No. 1002
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Northern United ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Yamaha Júbilo
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1999–07 Wellington 47 (55)
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
2001–08 Hurricanes 85 (27)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
New Zealand U19
New Zealand



Jerry Collins (4 November 1980 – 5 June 2015) was a New Zealand rugby union player. He played for New Zealand, for whom he was capped 48 times,[1][2] and most recently played for RC Narbonne, in the Rugby Pro D2. Collins and his partner, Alana Madill, were killed in a car accident in southern France in June 2015.

He is considered to be one of hardest tacklers in rugby history, along with Brian Lima.[3]

Early career[edit]

Collins was born in Samoa but grew up in his beloved hometown of Porirua. He made New Zealand Secondary Schools through his performance in the 1st XV side at St. Patrick's in Wellington for three seasons running in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and was Player of the Tournament at the 1999 World Junior Championships (Under-19) which New Zealand won, before going on to become the first player from that team to be called up to the All Blacks in 2001.

Professional career[edit]

Collins made his Wellington debut in the NPC in 1999, and his Wellington Hurricanes debut in 2001. He made a total of 74 appearances for the Hurricanes between 2001 and 2008, which included an appearance in the 2006 final against the Crusaders at AMI Stadium.

After debuting for the All Blacks in 2001, Collins went on to play 48 test matches, scoring five tries. In June 2006, he captained the All Blacks in a one-off Test match against Argentina, where he led his team to a 25–19 victory in Buenos Aires becoming the 61st captain of the All Blacks. He was named as All Black captain 2007 Rugby World Cup matches against Portugal and Romania, standing in for regular captain Richie McCaw.

Collins retired from international rugby in May 2008. Shortly afterwards, he played in a rugby league match in the Wellington Competition, registered under a different name. The team was fined.[4]

In October 2007, following New Zealand's exit from the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Collins was vacationing in Devon when he was spotted by Barnstaple head coach Kevin Squire who invited him to watch the team play a match at the weekend. Much to the club's surprise Collins turned up so they asked if he minded running a coaching session with the junior section. After doing this Kevin Squire thanked Collins and asked if there was anything they could do to repay him, to which Collins replied he just wanted to play rugby. So the following Saturday Collins turned out for the club's 2nd XV match against local side Newton Abbot.[5] In a match a few weeks later for the Barbarians he wore the Barnstaple socks.

After leaving the Hurricanes, Collins played for Toulon during the 2008-09 season, joining Sonny Bill Williams in the club's aggressive recruitment drive.[6] In May 2009, Collins agreed a two-year deal to join Welsh team Ospreys. He was Ospreys' Players' Player of the Year in the 09/10 season.

He then played for Yamaha Júbilo in the Top League in Japan, whom he joined at the beginning of the 2011 season. He last played for the classic All Blacks against Fiji in 2013, and he took 2014 off.

In January 2015, Collins signed a contract as a Medical Joker to play in the French ProD2 with Racing Club Narbonne. He was injury cover for Rocky Elsom.

Personal life[edit]

Collins was a cousin of former All Blacks captain and Hurricanes teammate Tana Umaga.

In March 2013, Collins was arrested in a Hamamatsu department store after he was spotted carrying a 17 cm-long knife.[7][8] Friends of his claimed he was carrying it for self-defence after he was threatened.[9][10] He was tested negative for all illegal substances. A few days after the arrest, Collins said he was "relieved" to have been arrested, as he feared for his life.[11]


Collins and his partner Alana Madill, aged 34, died on the morning of 5 June 2015, after losing control of their car and colliding with a bus on the A9 autoroute near Béziers in southern France. His three-month old baby daughter, Ayla, was taken to hospital in Montpellier in critical condition.[12][13][14] Ayla spent a month recovering in intensive care at the hospital in Montpellier, including two weeks spent in a coma. In early July, it was announced Ayla would move to Canada with the Madill family, and continue receiving treatment at a Canadian hospital.[15] Porirua Park Stadium was officially renamed Jerry Collins Stadium on 25 March 2016 in his honour.[16]


  1. ^ "Collins ends New Zealand career". BBC. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  2. ^ "Nine new caps in All Blacks squad". BBC. 27 May 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  3. ^ [1], The Telegraph UK
  4. ^ "Jerry Collins' league outing not a wise move ",
  5. ^ Morris, Steven (1 November 2007). "All Blacks' Terminator springs a big surprise in Devon". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  6. ^ Rob Wildman (7 August 2008). "Sonny Bill Williams turns back on rugby league for union side Toulon". Telegraph. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Reports Jerry Collins arrested in Japan". 3 News. 17 March 2013. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Former All Black's arrest in Japan confirmed". Radio NZ. 18 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Jerry Collins carrying knife in 'self-defence'". 3 News. 18 March 2013. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Ex-All Black Jerry Collins arrested in Japan". Dominion Post. 18 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Jerry Collins relieved to be arrested". 3 News NZ. 26 March 2013. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  12. ^ Napier, Liam (5 June 2015). "Former All Black Jerry Collins killed in car accident in France, local media reports say". Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Ex-All Black Jerry Collins killed in car accident in France". The New Zealand Herald. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Former All Black Jerry Collins dead in car crash". The Guardian. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  15. ^ Thierry Larousse, Clémentine Rebillat (6 July 2015). "Ayla Collins s'envole pour une nouvelle vie". Paris Match. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Porirua Park Stadium renamed in Jerry Collins' honour".

External links[edit]