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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020

After taking a year out, an All Blacks legend is returning to professional rugby

Jerry Collins has been signed by Pro D2 side Narbonne as a medical joker.

Collins was once one of the hardest hitters in world rugby.
Collins was once one of the hardest hitters in world rugby.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

YOU KNOW A player is powerful when he reduces the size of his biceps because he can’t smash people as hard as he used to.

That is what All Black Jerry Collins did in the build-up to the 2007 World Cup and his aggressive defence is one thing that made him popular, not just with New Zealand supporters, but with all rugby fans.

After the ’07 tournament, where Collins’ heavily favoured All Blacks side were upset by France, the bleach blonde flanker played for Toulon, The Ospreys and Yamaha Jubio before taking a sabbatical last year.

The year out came after a bizarre incident when Collins was arrested carrying a knife in a Japanese department store, saying he feared for his life.

But things appear to be looking up for Collins now, with the powerful back row getting a short-term contract with Narbonne in the Pro D2.

Collins has been signed as cover for Rocky Elsom after the former Wallabies captain was ruled out through injury.

At 34, he is a few years past his peak but at the ’03 and ’07 World Cups Collins was one of the stand out flankers.

There was probably nobody better at levelling an opposition forward at the time than Collins.

Source: tamapasifiki/YouTube


Source: Ruddy Darter/YouTube

He’s primarily remembered as a big hitter but at that 2003 tournament he actually played a lot at number eight and he proved himself to be a very dynamic ball carrier too.

Hopefully he can have a nice late-career renaissance in France.

Additional reporting by - © AFP 2014

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