All Blacks pay their respects to Jerry Collins with the Webb Ellis Cup

The Webb Ellis Cup is in Wellington, and its first stop has been the resting place of a very special All Blacks legend.


Flanker Jerome Kaino posted a picture on Instagram on Thursday of himself, Dan Carter, Sonny Bill Williams, Ma'a Nonu and Liam Messam with the Webb Ellis Cup at Jerry Collins' grave in Porirua.

It included the message: "Belated Happy Birthday USO! Love you uce! Always got you #JC6."

Collins and his Canadian partner, Alana Madill, 35, died instantly in a car crash in southern France in June. The 48-test All Black would have turned 35 on Wednesday.

As well as bringing the Rugby World Cup, Collins' five All Blacks mates also attached a "Happy Birthday" balloon to his tombstone.

Carter, who was named World Rugby player of the year after a stellar World Cup, posted a picture of his own on Instagram.

Carter wrote: "Good to share this one with the brother. Love you JC."

The All Blacks arrived in Wellington on Thursday evening for the final leg in a three-stop tour of the country to celebrate their World Cup triumph.

Hooker Keven Mealamu tweeted just after 6pm on Thursday that the team had touched down in the capital, and he posted a video of their plane landing.

"Wellington, we have arrived. Looking forward to sharing the Rugby World Cup with you all tomorrow."

When the school performs a welcome haka for the rugby world champions, it will be a fitting testament to a school that produced five players at the 2015 tournament, as well as two commentators.



All Blacks Julian Savea and Ma'a Nonu are at the top of the class of Rongotai old boys, but two Samoan players and a Romanian also passed through the school's changing rooms.

Sky Sports commentators Grant Nisbett and Ian Smith are Rongotai old boys as well.

Principal Kevin Carter said the school and community were hugely proud of their Rugby World Cup legacy.

Rongotai was one of several Wellington schools who said they would give their pupils a chance to miss class to see their heroes up close, provided they had their parents' permission.

Plenty of young fans are expected to turn out for the parade. With NCEA exams scheduled to get serious from next week, welcoming home rugby's world champions will be the perfect study break for many in their final years.

There is good news on the weather front too, with a promising forecast that suggests the sun will glistening off the Webb Ellis Cup as the All Blacks parade it through the city.

The temperature is expected to hit 16 degrees, with only a light northerly making for a calm day in the capital.

Proceedings begin at Parliament at 11.30am, where the All Blacks will receive a brief welcome from the Speaker of the House.

They will then set off down Lambton Quay at midday, travelling along Willis St and Mercer St on their way to Civic Square.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and other dignitaries will meet the team about 1pm in Civic Square. The event will finish about 1.30pm.



* Extra trains will run on the Hutt Valley and Kapiti lines before the parade. Extra carriages will be added to trains on the Kapiti, Hutt Valley and Johnsonville lines between the morning and evening peaks.

* Wellington Event train tickets will be valid for the parade, and will be sold on the day.

* All Wellington city bus services will be diverted from the Golden Mile between 10am and 2pm.

* Contact Metlink for information on public transport – phone 0800 801 700 or go to




* Willis St, north of Mercer St, and the entire length of Lambton Quay will be closed to traffic from 10am until about 3pm after the parade passes.

* Motorists exiting the urban motorway at Murphy St should expect delays.