Monday 22 June 2015 | Published in Regional
Collins (pictured left) and his partner Alana Madill died in a car crash in France, leaving their three-month-old daughter Ayla in a serious condition in hospital.
Collins was a sporting hero Samoans were proud to call their own.
“He wasn’t just an All Black – he was a fantastic ambassador for Samoa, said Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea‘i, CEO of the Samoa Rugby Union.
Now, there are calls for his achievements to be recognised, perhaps in the way of a tribute night.
The Union is expected to discuss the issue at board level.
“We would like to think there will be some tribute towards him but I guess we will have to get the clearance of his family,” Fepulea‘i said.
Collins left Samoa for New Zealand when he was just a toddler but he never forgot his roots – he had even spoken to friend and Samoa player Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu about pulling on the blue jersey.
“He mentioned something about playing for Samoa and I looked at him and said ‘what, you want to play for the Manu?’ And he was like ‘of course’ he was angry at me – ‘of course, I’m Samoan, I want to play for Samoa’”.
The game in Samoa is scheduled for July 8.