Gus Collins receives NZ Rugby Award





  • What's the award for TR? For those of us who don't want to click on the link?



  • @Nepia Justin 'Gus' Collins has won a new award, the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association Kirk Award, at the New Zealand Rugby Awards.

    The award was named after David Kirk, the 1987 RWC-winning All Blacks skipper.

    The 42-year-old Collins had a 16-year professional career in New Zealand as a loose forward and has more recently done sterling work on the board of the New Zealand Rugby Players Association.

    The award was given in recognition of a player who has made an outstanding contribution on behalf of fellow professional players, and led by example on and off the field.

    Collins was surprised to become the latest recipient of the Kirk Award.

    "I was extremely humbled to be presented with the Kirk Award. It has been an absolute pleasure to serve the players," he said.

    "I firmly believe in what the NZRPA stands for and the work they are doing.

    I'm just happy to have been able to play a part in the growth and the development of the organisation and the services it provides for the players."

    "I also want to pay special tribute to my wife and my family for their ongoing support."

    Northland Rugby Union chief executive Alistair McGinn said it was a thoroughly well-deserved award for Collins.

    "Outstanding, wonderful. It's an outstanding performance on and off the field, a fantastic player, a great individual whose work with the NRU has been fantastic."

    He is well respected at the NZRPA. He is doing some fantastic work there and helping the younger players through."

    "Now he's got a young family and that keeps him busy but he's still found time to do work with Kamo Rugby Club."

    Collins has made a significant contribution on behalf of professional players as a long-serving board member of the NZRPA and a veteran of 273 first-class matches.

    He started his playing career by making the 1st XV at Kamo High School and then stepped up to Whangarei club rugby.

    Before long, he'd made the Taniwha, playing 114 games for the provincial team throughout his career.

    The next step was Super Rugby, where he debuted for the Chiefs in 1998 at a time where Northland was part of the Chiefs' region. He played 10 games for the side.

    The following year, Northland switched territories to the Blues, so Collins went there and played a further 92 games for the Auckland-based franchise between 1999 and 2009.

    McGinn, who also attended the event, said it was clear by the audience reaction how well received his efforts are.

    "There was a huge applause. We think we're pretty anonymous up here in the Northland and it was very well received," he said.

    "He can't be underrated, his work in rugby has been amazing. He has been extraordinary in his efforts. Those at the Professional Players Association speak very highly of him."

    Kirk, the NZRPA founding chairman, said Collins was a very worthy recipient of the award.

    "Justin epitomises what is great about New Zealand rugby," he said.

    "Players give their all on the field and make contributions as a player, then stay attached to the game to help other young players."

    • Northern Advocate


  • Good award and well deserved.



  • Might be wrong, but at 273 games, that puts Collins number one on the list of most New Zealand top class games without making All Blacks.



  • Great news. Everything that you would ever want a player, Captain to be. Had to move to Auckland to get proper recognition by Blues, like a few of our players....Certainly the best Northland player in the last 20 or 30 years.



  • @kev said in Gus Collins receives NZ Rugby Award:

    Great news. Everything that you would ever want a player, Captain to be. Had to move to Auckland to get proper recognition by Blues, like a few of our players....Certainly the best Northland player in the last 20 or 30 years.

    Ian Jones?

    Glenn Taylor?

    Norm Berryman?

    Jared Payne?



  • @nzzp said in Gus Collins receives NZ Rugby Award:

    @kev said in Gus Collins receives NZ Rugby Award:

    Great news. Everything that you would ever want a player, Captain to be. Had to move to Auckland to get proper recognition by Blues, like a few of our players....Certainly the best Northland player in the last 20 or 30 years.

    Ian Jones?

    Glenn Taylor?

    Norm Berryman?

    Jared Payne?

    Not Ian Jones, but better than the rest IMO.



  • If you look at performances for Northland over time ( which is what my comment was about 😀 ) then he is hands down the best...



  • @kev said in Gus Collins receives NZ Rugby Award:

    If you look at performances for Northland over time ( which is what my comment was about 😀 ) then he is hands down the best...

    Hands down? He's in the contest but he's not obviously the best

    I would pick Taylor just ahead of Jones



  • @Duluth for Nortland, Jones great player that he was left and never came back - no qualms with that but it does impact on his "Northland" rating. Same situation with Norm Maxwell though he left earlier in his career. Taylor is up there as my number two but Collins like so many great loose fowards in NZ was an athlete and he did it in the hardest of positions over a long time. Great discussion to have, just glad that he has received some recognition. 😀



  • @kev

    I think I'll put up a poll..

    Need to settle on a list of players from the last 30 years first:

    Glenn Taylor
    Ian Jones
    Justin Collins
    Rene Ranger
    David Holwell
    Con Barrell
    Norm Maxwell
    Rupeni Caucaunibuca
    Norm Berryman
    Warren Johnson

    Anyone else?



  • I would add Vula Maimuri. I got told that he was selected for ABs twice but was injured. Great tough player.



  • guess it depends what criteria you want to put on a player.

    Hayden Taylor played 125 games for Northland, Fred and Kawhena Woodman come into the last 30 years too (just in Fred's case) both played over 100 games for North Auckland.



  • @taniwharugby Hayden was solid but if the Woodmans qualify then they get added. No real answer just a chance to reflect.


Log in to reply