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Some All Blacks legends will take on Toulon this October in memory of Jerry Collins

Some real All Blacks greats are set to take part.

Ali Williams (right) is one of many All Black legends expected to feature.
Ali Williams (right) is one of many All Black legends expected to feature.
Image: Neal Simpson

EXPECT THIS TO be as emotional as it will be entertaining.

European Champions Toulon will host an exhibition game against the Classic All Blacks during the World Cup this October, all in the memory of the late Jerry Collins.

Collins was laid to rest this week, after he and his partner Alana passed away in a car crash in the south of France earlier this month, while their infant daughter Ayla remains seriously injured in hospital.

Now, his former club Toulon have announced that they will be hosting a special exhibition game in the flanker’s honour, and have invited some of his former All Black teammates along to face them.

The sides will meet at Stade Mayol on October 7, more than two years since the Classic All-Blacks’ last outing in June 2013, when they took on Fiji as part of their centenary,

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal said the game will be an emotional occasion, with both sides celebrating the life of their former teammate.

“I am sure the All Black Haka on this day will remember Jerry Collins with great emotion and so will we. Fans from around the world will witness two heavyweight rugby institutions competing against one another in the heart of Toulon.”

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Andy Haden, President of the Classic All Blacks, says despite the game taking place during the World Cup, it will still feature plenty of World Rugby’s biggest names.

“The Classic All Blacks will include many great All Black names currently playing overseas. They are players who are no longer contracted to New Zealand rugby and the Toulon team will feature many of the players who were part of the only team to have won the European Cup 3 times.”

It’s expected that the likes of Carl Haymen, Ali Williams, Chris Masoe, John Afoa, Andrew Hore, Brad Thorne, Joe Rokocoko, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Luke McAlister and Mils Muliaina will all be invited to play a part in the game.

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Neil Treacy

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