Narbonne stages silent march for Jerry Collins
Issued on: Modified:
Some 1,500 people staged a silent march in tribute to the late All Black Jerry Collins in the southern French town of Toulon, whose rugby team he played for, on Sunday. Collins died along with his partner Alana Madill in a car crash on Friday.
Collins's cousin and fellow All Black Chris Masoe, now a star at Toulon, joined the march, as did several of Collins's teammates at Narbonne.
Asked to speak, Masoe could only manage "Thank you to everybody" in a voice choked with emotion.
Many of the marchers wore the club's colours of orange and black and some laid bouquets at the foot of a blown-up photograph of Collins, Madill and their daughter outside the club stadium.
On Friday former teammates at Toulon wore black armbands and staged a minute's silence before the a French championship semi-final against Stade Français, which they lost 33-16.
Masoe dyed his hair peroxide blond in a tribute to Collins's "pint-of-Guinness" look.
On Saturday at Perpignan a match that was due to be a testimonial match for Samoan Henry Tuilagi, who is retiring after eight seasons with the club, was turned into a tribute to the late flanker with all the ticket receipts going to Collins's family.