The rugby world is in shock following the announcement that All Black rugby legend Jerry Collins died in a car crash in France. His wife, Alana, also died in the incident.
The accident happened on a stretch of highway in the Herault district in southern France. It is believed two others, understood to be Portuguese, were injured in the crash involving a bus.
“The news has shocked us all and our thoughts are with Jerry and Alana’s families at this terribly sad time. We offer our deepest condolences to them and will support them as they come to terms with this devastating news,” New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said.
Jerry Collins’ long-standing manager Tim Castle, speaking on behalf of the family said: “The family and I are distraught at the death of a much-loved son, brother and friend, and his partner Alana.
“The family would also like to thank everyone for their messages of support and have asked for privacy at this time.”
Born in Apia, Samoa in November 1980, 34-year-old loose forward Jerry Collins played for the Norths club in Wellington before making his provincial debut for Wellington in 1999, his Super Rugby debut with the Hurricanes in 2001 and his All Blacks debut later that year.
In a lengthy professional career, he played 74 games for the Hurricanes and 50 matches for the All Blacks, including 48 Tests.
His All Blacks career was highlighted when given the captaincy for a Test against Argentina in 2006.
After leaving New Zealand in 2008, his rugby career took him to Japan and France, and had signed with the Narbonne club this year.