Stadium to be renamed after Collins

Date published: March 21 2016

Jerry Collins RWC 2007

Porirua City Council has honoured former All Blacks loose forward Jerry Collins by renaming their rugby stadium after him.

The Porirua Park Stadium will officially be renamed the Jerry Collins Stadium on Friday. 

Collins, who passed away 10 months ago in a car crash in the south of France, grew up in Porirua and played many matches at the venue.

After his death, Porirua residents rallied to name the landmark after him. 

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett wholeheartedly supports this cause.

"Jerry was a favourite son of Porirua and I think that we wanted to honour him in an appropriate way for his memory and for his family," he told Fairfax Media. 

"It made sense to name the grandstand at his home ground park after him."

After Collins' death, hundreds of members and supporters of the Porirua Northern United Rugby Football Club, for whom Collins also played, paid tribute and farewelled him at the venue, which is also the club's home ground.

Collins' father will return to the stadium on Friday to unveil the commemorative plaque in his honour.

Porirua City Council events manager Robert Baldock said everyone was invited to the unveiling.

"We've built a concrete plinth with the bronze plaque on top, and have put signage on the stadium with Jerry in selected different playing jerseys," he said.

Baldock said the Council had worked with the Collins family to make sure that the transition was sensitively done.

"The family wrote the wording on the bronze plaque…it's a beautiful plaque, really outstanding. I think they'll be very proud of it," he added.

He said the plaque covered Collins' sporting career, and finishes by saying how much he enjoyed playing at the Norths club.

"He always loved playing on his home turf," said Baldock.

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