Collins ready for Ospreys stint

Getty Images     17 Aug 2009     Getty Images

Collins, who quit New Zealand rugby after the 2008 Super 14 campaign with the Hurricanes, has transferred from Toulon to Wales where he will be attempting to help lift the Ospreys into the top echelons of British rugby.

With his reputation as a hard man preceding him, Collins told Wales on Sunday that he knew he would be a target for young players wanting to make a name for themselves in the game.

"After a couple of years of being a big-hitter, the guys you player against get smarter and don't start running straight at you.

"They start to step you, or pass around you," he said.

However, Collins said he was more concerned about the number of tackles he could make in a game and how many he missed than adding to his reputation for big hits.

Welshmen always recall the hit he put on one of their own hard men loose forward Colin Charvis at Hamilton in 2003. After the incident All Blacks' team-mate Tana Umaga's gesture in immediately going to Charvis' aid won him an international award for sportsmanship.

Charvis was taken to hospital as a result of the incident.

"Nobody wants to be remembered for something like that," he said, recalling that he has met Charvis a few times since and was surprised to find that Charvis was bigger than him.

"I've learnt that if I am going to dish it out, I have to expect to get some back. It's just the game," he said.

The Ospreys Celtic League season opens on September 3 with a game against Connacht.