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Call to make Apia test a tribute to Jerry Collins

Monday 22 June 2015 | Published in Regional


APIA – There are calls for a tribute to the late Jerry Collins at next month’s All Blacks Test against Manu Samoa in Apia.

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.