All Black rugby star Jerry Collins dies in car crash

Tributes from teammates pour in after the news that former New Zealand rugby star Collins and his wife have died in a car crash in France

Former New Zealand rugby star Jerry Collins and his wife Alana Madill have died in a car crash in France.

Advertisement

According to local media reports, Collins was involved in a collision with a bus on a motorway in southern France. Their three-month-old daughter has been taken to hospital in a critical condition.

The 34-year-old, who played 48 tests for the All Blacks and captained his country three times, was playing for French side Narbonne.

Tributes from former teammates and rugby stars have been coming in on social media,

Former England centre Will Greenwood, who played against Collins, said he was ‘praying’ for their daughter to pull through.

Flanker Collins was recognised for his aggressive defensive style and dominating tackles, and stood in as captain of New Zealand during the 2007 World Cup.

Fellow New Zealander rugby stars shared their shock at the sudden news online.

Former England scrum half called Collins the “Jonah Lomu of the forwards. A rugby inspiration of his time.”

34-year-old Collins was born in Samoa, but made his debut for New Zealand in 2001. He retired from international rugby in 2008, but continue to play club rugby in both Europe and Japan.

In 2007 the feared New Zealander showed his lighter side, agreeing to play for a Devon amateur side after meeting the team’s coach while on holiday.

Wales captain Sam Warburton called him “an inspiration to many young players growing up including myself”, while Jonah Lomu called Collins “my brother”.

Advertisement

Collins had signed with French club Narbonne in January this year.