French media has reported that ex-All Black Jerry Collins (Samoa) and his wife Alana Madill, have died in a tragic car accident in southern France.
According to reports the couple were involved in a collision with a bus at 4:30am local time, and were killed instantly. Apparently their 3-month-old girl, Ayla, was taken to Montpellier Hospital in a critical condition.
It comes as extremely sad news for his close friends, family, and rugby fans from all over the world.
Collins' long-term manager Tim Castle has released a statement on behalf of the family:
"The family and I are distraught at the death of a much-loved son, brother and friend, and his partner Alana, whom I got to know recently.
I have been in touch with Jerry's father Frank and other members of his family who are in Samoa at the moment. It's obviously a terribly difficult time for them and together with New Zealand rugby we are doing all we can to support them.
The family would also like to thank everyone for their messages of support and have asked for privacy at this time," said Castle.
Born in Samoa, Collins made a huge impact on New Zealand rugby throughout his career.
Dubbed the "Hitman", he was recognised as a powerful force on the field playing 48 tests for the All Blacks. Some of his friends, former team mates and peers posted these messages to social media when the news broke.
At tonight's match between the Hurricanes and Highlanders, the players - bearing black bands - and all supporters paid tribute to Collins by taking a moment's silence.