Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Father's fears for Collins

Former All Black star arrested in Japan may be in jail for up to three weeks.

Collins joined Yamaha Engines Jubilo in 2011 but announced his resignation from the club to coincide with his contract ending last month. Photo / Supplied
Collins joined Yamaha Engines Jubilo in 2011 but announced his resignation from the club to coincide with his contract ending last month. Photo / Supplied

Jerry Collins' manager hopes to be able to speak with him today as the former All Black spends his second day in custody in Japan for carrying a knife into a department store.

Tim Castle told Radio New Zealand today he was unable to talk with Collins overnight because of communications restrictions.

"We were able to secure a slight relaxation of them for today, which will enable the consul to meet with Jerry at 9 o'clock this morning, Japan time.

"The other restriction lifted is in relation to written communication - Jerry is able to receive and send written messages and we hope they'll be continuously relaxed over this period."

Jerry Collins seemed perfectly fine when he spoke to his manager before flying out of Auckland for Japan last Tuesday.

Four days later he was in a Japanese jail after being arrested for carrying a 17cm kitchen knife in a food hall of a department store in the industrial city of Hamamatsu.

Exactly what happened in the intervening four days is unclear, but Collins apparently feared for his safety, telling police he was carrying the knife for self-defence.

"There was no suggestion of concern but clearly there is now," Collins' manager Tim Castle told the Herald last night.

"I'm investigating that because the whole issue of self-defence, the issue of rational justification of possession of the knife is very important.

"I'm on the case through the night as I work with the lawyer over there."

Mr Castle said it "wasn't helpful to speculate" whether Collins might have fallen foul of someone in Japan.

Earlier reports suggested there may have been an incident on social media that gave Collins cause for concern. It was also reported Collins may have been involved in an altercation earlier in the day.

"I am going to get to the bottom of it. He deserves support, which he is getting.

"And he deserves what everybody else is entitled to, which is innocent until proven guilty.

"There is no suggestion of any sinister intent attaching to his possession of the knife. That's what he has been arrested for but there is no charge against him at this time."

Mr Castle had been in regular content with Collins and had no reason to believe he was unwell.

"He's been perfectly well. I spoke to him in Auckland just before he was flying out on Tuesday last week. We speak or communicate two or three times a week. He is not a big man on the cell phone but he is very good on emails."

A local lawyer had been contracted to represent Collins and he was receiving support from the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo and his club, Yamaha.

Collins' father, Frankie, said the family was in the dark about what had happened to the 48-test All Black and one-time captain.

"We're all pretty worried," Mr Collins said.

The roadworker had been working night-shift over the weekend when he found out his son was in trouble.

"People have been calling me and asking what's happening, but I haven't been able to get anywhere."

Collins joined Yamaha Engines Jubilo in 2011 but announced his resignation from the club to coincide with his contract ending last month.

Throughout his time in Japan, he had not been in touch very often with his family, Mr Collins said.

"He never bought a phone, never left a phone number or anything. He hardly ever called home. He'd just turn up, and when he'd go, he'd never say he'd go, he would just go.

"He doesn't like talking ... he'll talk to his mates, but not anybody else. He keeps everything to himself."

Mr Collins said he was not aware of his son experiencing any troubles off the field.

Under Japanese law Collins could be held in custody for as long as three weeks.

Mr Castle said an initial three days could be extended for further investigation with court approval "which means the whole procedure can be up to 23 days".

Jerry Collins file

*2001 - involved in an altercation with fan Sonny Shaw outside a Wellington pub.
*2006 - pictured urinating on the field before kick-off against the Wallabies at Christchurch's Jade Stadium.
*2006 - captains All Blacks for only time against Argentina but causes a stir after swearing during a live post-match interview.
*2007 - turns out for Devon club side Barnstaple in a second XV club match following the All Blacks' exit from the World Cup.
*2013 - arrested in Hamamatsu, Japan, for carrying a 17cm cooking knife.

* Read the Herald's live news blog here.

- NZ Herald

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