Collins the next to leave New Zealand




All Black & Hurricanes flanker Jerry Collins has reportedly asked the New Zealand Rugby Union for an early release from his contract.

The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper is reporting the All Blacks and Hurricanes flanker has asked to be cleared at the end of the Super 14 so he can join the exodus to Europe.

Collins is contracted until the end of next year but is apparently being pursued by a number of British clubs.

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Bath is one of the major clubs who have already signalled its interest in signing him but the Daily Mail said this news would alert every major English and Welsh club.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes also face a battle to keep their coach Colin Cooper from leaving the franchise. The Hurricanes board wants Cooper to stay on but are expecting foreign clubs to make a push to secure his services.

Cooper comes off contract at the end of the season and Hurricanes CEO Greg Peters said the board has indicated to the NZRU it would like to retain him.

Peters said while he would not be surprised if Cooper has had offers from overseas, the board is remaining upbeat about its chances of re-signing him.

He said it would be sorry to see him go, but the indication is Cooper wants to stay. Cooper has led the Hurricanes to three semifinals and one final since taking up the role in 2003.

It is believed the soon to be vacated Crusaders head coaching job could tempt him south, as he has previously been an assistant in Christchurch.

Sapa –

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