Wellington - The body of Jerry Collins will be brought back to New Zealand for a public funeral in his home-town of Porirua next Wednesday by his cousin and fellow former All Black Tana Umaga, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said on Friday.
Former New Zealand skipper Collins and his wife Alana Madill died in a car accident in France a week ago. Their daughter Ayla remains in a critical condition in hospital.
"The family knows that Jerry was loved and admired by the people of his home-town of Porirua and beyond," Tim Castle, the Collins family's spokesman, said in a media release.
"He was one of them and played a big role in the community. The family understands and knows very well that many people want to join them in paying tribute and showing their love and respect for him."
Castle said Jerry's body would be brought home by Umaga and a small group of close friends, including former All Black Chris Masoe.
Following Wednesday's funeral service at Porirua's Te Rauparaha Arena, Collins would be buried in a ceremony for extended family and friends, NZR said.
The death of Collins at the age of 34 prompted a huge out-pouring of grief from around the rugby world. The 48-cap New Zealand flanker had been playing for second-tier French side Narbonne.
On Thursday, his former New Zealand team mate Neemia Tialata posted a video of a group of former All Blacks performing a 'haka' - the ceremonial Maori dance - at the site of the crash in southern France.
"Saying goodbye 2the brother and his partner the way we were all brought together," Tialata wrote on his Twitter account.