Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

Auction of signed Jerry Collins' Hurricanes jersey off to rapid start

Sam Rossiter-Stead is auctioning a signed jersey given to him by Jerry Collins. The auction starts on Trade Me today. Photo / Seamus Boyer
Sam Rossiter-Stead is auctioning a signed jersey given to him by Jerry Collins. The auction starts on Trade Me today. Photo / Seamus Boyer

The auction of a jersey worn and signed by the late Jerry Collins to raise money for his young daughter has reached nearly $600 only a few hours after it began.

The jersey is being auctioned by former Hurricanes commercial manager Sam Rossiter-Stead. All funds go directly to Collins' daughter Ayla.

The auction began at about 3am today with no reserve, and by 10am 21 bidders had pushed the bid to $595.

"Ever since the accident I've been waiting for the right time to sell the jersey to raise as much money as possible for Ayla," Rossiter-Stead said. "And this weekend is perfect with the Hurricanes playing the final."

Collins was killed alongside his partner Alana Madill in a car crash in the south of France last year. The former All Black is thought to have thrown himself across his daughter's body to protect her from the impact of a bus.

Ayla survived, but spent months in hospital.

Collins wore the jersey while playing for the Hurricanes in the 2007 Super Rugby season, and it features his distinctive signature with a large love heart. It was gifted to Rossiter-Stead when Collins left the Hurricanes in 2008.

Rossiter-Stead said he was shocked to see how quickly the auction price had risen.

"I checked it when I was having my breakfast this morning and saw it was up to $500 and I just thought 'wow'."

In the auction description, Rossiter-Stead said it has slightly stretched sleeves to accomodate Collins' "massive biceps".

Although he is best remembered for his exploits as a blindside flanker wearing the number 6 jersey, he wore this one when playing as a number 8.

Trade Me has waived all listing and success fees on the auction, which is scheduled to close on August 11.

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