Rugby

Umaga: Collins arrest a worry

2013-03-20 11:16
Tana Umaga (File)

Hong Kong - All Blacks great Tana Umaga on Wednesday said he was as surprised as anyone and worried after his cousin and ex-team-mate Jerry Collins was arrested in Japan on charges of illegally carrying a kitchen knife.

The former New Zealand captain said that he had yet to hear from Collins and was concerned about his condition after his arrest on Saturday at a Japanese department store.

"I'm not really too sure what's happened," Umaga, capped 74 times for New Zealand, said during the Hong Kong Tens rugby tournament, where he is coaching the APB All Stars.

"We're all worried about him and we just want to see how he is."

According to press reports, 48-cap veteran Collins, 32, who has been playing in Japan, caught a security guard's attention when he went behind a sales counter at the store in the central city of Hamamatsu.

When approached, the flank pulled out the 17-centimetre (6.7 inch) blade from his pocket and placed it on the counter.

It is illegal to carry weapons with blades longer than 15 centimetres (six inches) without police permission in Japan.

Japanese police declined to comment on Wednesday, as a report in New Zealand said Collins' detention had been extended by 10 days.

Umaga, 39, said he felt "like everyone else" when asked if he was shocked by the arrest. He added that he was "supporting" his cousin.

"He's not the best to be contacted but usually he's good at contacting people so we'll wait and see. Hopefully he's all right. That's the main thing," Umaga said.

Collins, who captained a Test match against Argentina in 2006, told police that he "kept the kitchen knife for self-defence", according to reports.

He played for Yamaha Jubilo in Japan's Top League from 2011 and left the team last month when his two-year contract expired.

Read more on:    jerry collins  |  tana umaga  |  rugby
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