Wales-bound: Pro rugby player Michael Collins enjoying a winter break in Queenstown

After playing his last game for the Dunedin-based Highlanders — their Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final against his former team, the Blues — Queenstowner Michael Collins is enjoying a well-earned break in his hometown.

Before jetting off to Wales to play for Swansea-based Ospreys, the 27-year-old tackled a few questions this week with PHILIP CHANDLER

Who was the biggest influence on your career?

Who was your rugby idol growing up?
Christian Cullen.

Your favourite ever coach?
Tough to pick one. Ben Herring, Ryan Martin and Tom Donnelly all did heaps for me with Otago.

Your favourite Super Rugby team, the Blues or the Highlanders?
Blues gave me my first opportunity and Otago’s always going to be home.

Your favourite Super Rugby game?
Blues v Lions in 2017.

Funniest player you played with?
Leroy Van Dam [an Otago and NZ U20s contemporary].

Got some regrets you didn’t crack the All Blacks?
Not at all, I’m lucky to not have any regrets about my time in New Zealand.

What do you thing your strongest attribute as a player is?

Your favourite playing position?

Hardest player to tackle?
Nemani Nadolo [former Crusader, Waratah and Fijian national].

The fastest player you’ve ever played with or against?
Rieko Ioane.

Your worst injury?
Osteitis pubis [in 2019].

What do you plan to do after rugby, and where will you live?
Unsure what this will be, I’ve still got a few more years left in my body, I hope.