14 Jun 2015

Thousands pay respects to Jerry Collins

9:30 pm on 14 June 2015

Thousands of people have marched through Porirua to pay their respects to former All Black Jerry Collins.

Thousands of people have been paying their respects to Jerry Collins.

Thousands of people have been paying their respects to Jerry Collins. Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate-Cox

Collins, who was 34, was killed along with his partner Alana Madill in a car crash in France earlier this month.

Their baby Ayla is being treated in a French hospital.

Porirua march for Jerry Collins

Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate-Cox

Dressed in the blue of Porirua North Rugby Club which Collins played for, members of the crowd of about 4000 waved flags from Samoa and Canada.

Kane Mokomoko has been with the club for twenty years and said they were ackowledging Collins strong roots in the area.

"He'd always come back and always happy to meet people, always happy to shake their hands, always happy to sign autographs, so we have lost a real son of Porirua, you know but we will forever remember him."

One of the march organisers, Izzy Ford, said the number of people paying their respects showed just how much Collins meant to people.

"He's touched heaps of lives on so many different levels from the young to the old, you know in the middle, and from all different walks of life."

Representatives of Collins' family and friends met the marchers at the North Rugby Club stadium.

A public service will be held this Wednesday at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua at 10am.

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