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Collins' headstone unveiled a year on

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/06/2016

The headstone of popular All Black Jerry Collins has been unveiled a year after his death at a cemetery north of Wellington.

The ceremony, at Whenua Tapu Cemetery, was noted for the presence of Collins' daughter, one-year-old Ayla, who is being raised in Canada by her mother's family.

Samoan-born flanker Collins, 34, and his wife Alana Madill died in a traffic accident in France on June 5 last year. Ayla, then just 10 weeks old, survived.

The families say her recovery from serious injuries continues to be inspiring.

"She is cherished by both families and in celebrating her life together both families keep the memories of her parents alive and vibrant."

In Saturday's ceremony the minister said he hoped Ayla would emulate the legacy of her father on the rugby field, and possibly represent Samoa, New Zealand and Canada, according to reports.

Porirua Park Stadium has been renamed Jerry Collins Stadium to honour the 48-test All Black, who was raised in Porirua and played for the local Northern United club.

The club is holding an Old Timers weekend during which includes the presentation of a giant version of Collins' number 6 Hurricanes jersey.

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