Conversations with Jerry Collins were always intriguing.
Like his rugby, his opinions were direct and delivered with some feeling. He toned them down for the electronic media but when he was engaged with the newspaper scribblers, Collins would surge into his work.
His sentences were spiked with expletives as he challenged you to quote him with or without his earthy language.
There were no clauses, no sub-sections to his thoughts. Just like his footy, he gave his opinion right between your eyes. Sometimes you felt it was another game the husky-voiced Collins was playing.
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Competing against him at his peak must have been daunting. Collins was a loose-forward who brought plenty of tight-forward clout to his work. He usually played on the blindside where his punishing style and high work-rate allowed his fellow loosies to roam a bit wider.
He was an old-school type forward; no frilly bits, no blurred lines just raw energy and a will to succeed, values which Graham Henry admired enough to promote him to captain the All Blacks in several internationals.
Collins rugby career was bookended by injury and incident.
A broken leg stalled his start but he managed to pull on the famous black jersey by the time he was 21 to start seven years of test combat before he shifted to play in Wales, then Japan and latterly France where he was involved in a number of exotic off-field troubles.
The man from Wellington and the Hurricanes with a similar coloured hairstyle, was immensely proud of his background in the capital. He had a tough upbringing but used that as a spur to get himself in shape to deal with any opponents.
Welsh skipper Colin Charvis and Wallaby captain Nathan Sharpe were two rivals who stayed down after Collins delivered another of his provocative tackles which sent memos to his teammates and rivals. Tonight, the messages will all be for him and his family after his death in a road accident near Montpelier.