by Vanessa Knight – EM TV Sports
The rugby fraternity is grieving the loss of former All Blacks rugby great Jerry Collins, who passed away with his wife in a tragic car accident in the south of France yesterday.
The 34 year old was traveling with his wife and infant daughter, when their vehicle collided with a bus in the Languedoc region, near Breziers in the early hours of Friday.
Collins’ daughter Ayla suffered serious injuries from the crash and remains in a critical condition, but is showing signs of improvement.
Collins began his career at Wellington in the National Provincial Championships, and made his debut with the All Blacks in the game against Argentina in Christchurch in 2001.
The Samoan-born athlete was renowned for his bleach-blond hair and fierce tackling; he captained the All Blacks three times and played for New Zealand at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.
Quitting international rugby in 2008, he joined the French Top 14 side Toulon before moving to Wales to play for Ospreys in 2009.
Collins spent two years in Japan playing for Yamaha Jubilo from 2011-2013 before joining French second-tier side Narbonne in January this year.