Wellington - Former All Black Jerry Collins may have been threatened and had
reason to fear for his safety in the weeks leading up to his arrest, his
Collins, 32, was arrested at the weekend in the central Japan
industrial city of Hamamatsu on charges of illegally carrying a kitchen
knife in a department store, police said yesterday.
He told Japanese police he kept a kitchen knife for ''self-defence''.
Collins Wellington-based manager Tim Castle said details were
still sketchy, but he had heard that there may have been an incident
involving social media that gave Collins cause for concern.
"I have heard there were comments made either on his Facebook
page or on some other form of social media, that were to that effect,
Castle, who is himself a lawyer, said he had woken to the
reports of Collins' arrest and had not had the chance to speak with him
He said he would be investigating the arrest carefully, and
would provide Collins with any support he needed. He did not know if
Collins had been held in custody at all.
According to press reports, Collins caught a security guard's attention when he went behind a sales counter at the store.
When approached, he pulled out the 17-centimetre blade from his pocket and placed it on the counter.
It is illegal to have weapons with blades longer than 15 centimetres without police permission in Japan.
Collins, who captained a test match against Argentina in 2006
and scored two tries in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, told police that he
"kept the kitchen knife for self-defence", according to the reports.
Collins played for Yamaha Jubilo in Japan's Top League from
2011 and left the team last month when his two-year contract expired.
He played for New Zealand in 48 international games from 2001 to 2008, including the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.