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The Gisborne Photo News



John Collins

John Collins is 25 years of age, and is the son of Mrs T. Collins, Tokomaru Bay, and the late Mr B. W. Collins. He was born in Tokomaru, and spent all his school years there, until coming to Gisborne to work as a wool-classer for Gisborne Sheep-farmers.

In 1958 he made his debut in first-class rugby when he played for Poverty Bay against East Coast at Ruatoria.

In 1959 he played in a North Island All Black trial match at Napier.

After enlisting in the New Zealand Army for service in Malaya, Collins virtually tossed serious rugby aside, but while overseas played for the Commonwealth Services team and the All Malayan rugby side.

This year he returned to Gisborne, and was immediately snapped up by the P.B. selector, promoted to captain, and established himself as the star back of the team.

Still virtually unknown outside of Gisborne, he was "discovered" by the national selectors while playing against Bay of Plenty at Rugby Park, when he made one of his classic 70-yard solo runs, cutting through the defence as though it didn't exist, to score under the posts.

Since then, he has not looked back, being selected for the North Island team for the annual inter-island match, and for the Maori All Blacks' tour of Fiji. The tour was his first N.Z. representation.

A big man for a five-eighths, he is a dashing player, and could well have greater things to come.

Prior to the Maori All Blacks' tour, he had played only 19 first-class games in New Zealand, 15 of them for Poverty Bay.

He is now re-employed by Sheepfarmers,


John Collins on patrol in the dense Malayan jungle while serving with the New Zealand Army.