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Saturday Jun 6, 2015

The day Jerry Collins played for Barnstaple Rugby Football Club's 2nd XV

The day Jerry Collins played for Barnstaple Rugby Football Club's 2nd XV
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There are some stories that will live on in rugby folklore for all of time. The day Jerry Collins, who tragically died in a car crash yesterday, turned out for Barnstaple Rugby Football Club, in England’s fifth tier, is one of those such tales.

While for many of us we only knew him as the hard-hitting, no-nonsense All Black who played fifty times for the greatest team on the planet, a privileged few got to see a completely different side of Jerry ‘Hitman’ Collins, and the recollections of his humility are endless.

Back in 2007, following New Zealand’s shock exit from the Rugby World Cup, Collins was in the UK for a while longer, so when presented with a chance to have a run out, he did so, shocking those he played with, and no doubt against.

In the below video, one of his teammates on that day recounts the story of how he was injured, so Collins lay down on the turf next to him for a photo, as can be seen above.

“I never got into the team photo and that was the one thing I desperately wanted – my photo taken with Jerry Collins just to prove this had happened,” explained Trevor Wayborn.

“He lay down on the floor next to me and had his photo taken with my head being held until the ambulance came to pick me up.”

Going on to wear the Barnstaple RFC socks when turning out for the Barbarians against South Africa was a lovely touch, and one that in their own words, put the club on the map.

The story speaks for itself, and you can watch another version, via BBC Wales, on page two. That one includes words from the great man himself. May he, and his partner, Rest in Peace.

Jerry Collins: From New Zealand to Barnstaple

As the rugby world pays tribute to Jerry Collins, Sport Wales remembers when the former All Blacks and Ospreys Rugby star famously turned out for Barnstaple Rugby Football Club’s second XV while on holiday in Devon back in 2007…Tune into BBC Radio Wales Sport from 7pm as we remember a rugby legend after his tragic death » http://bbc.in/1EZDPuy

Posted by BBC Wales Sport on Friday, June 5, 2015

7 Comments

  • kadova
    10:06 PM 08/06/2015

    Wonderful story. Proved if needed how a great man he was. RIP Jerry Collins.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:13 AM 08/06/2015

    I "got a bit of sun cream in my eyes" watching this. I think that would have happened even if he hadn't died, it's just such a great story. Funny how one short word "bro" can sound so different in a Samoan/kiwi accent versus the Devon version.

    Reply
  • 1:11 PM 07/06/2015

    Play like a beast on the park Be a gentleman off the park The world will always remember how great you really were

    Reply
  • drg
    12:25 AM 07/06/2015

    Apparently it meant a lot to the opposition players too. I don't mean that in a tongue in cheek way (although I'm sure there was a big element of that too!) but I remember reading that one of the opposition players said that JC was very humble in the fact he didn't just turn on the International level and steam roll the whole lot of them. He said he could tell that JC was playing at a small portion of his actual skill in order to just have a bit of fun and keep the game 'fairly' even....

    Reply
  • ronan
    9:35 PM 06/06/2015

    nice vid. R.I.P.

    Reply
  • larry
    5:38 PM 06/06/2015

    This story says something about the game itself, that there is a team and a position for anyone who wants to play, at any level of the sport. Of course it speaks volumes about this All Black, humble enough to turn out for an amateur side, which meant so much to their players.

    Reply
  • oldflyhalf
    4:30 PM 06/06/2015

    My God, why, why him ?

    Reply


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