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Collins shoots down Wales move

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Blues fullback Collins clears up talk of Wales move

Blues fullback Michael Collins has shot down rumours of an impending move to Wales, confirming his focus remains on helping the Blues get back on track.

“That’s been blown a wee bit out of proportion,” he said.

“Being Wales and England qualified, it’s always been an option to go back there and ply the trade. But I’ve just recommitted here for another year, so that’s the sole focus at the moment.

Collins re-signed with the Blues on a one-year deal earlier this year for 2019, and is also contracted to Otago for the next two Mitre 10 campaigns. The 25-year old qualifies for both England and Wales on ancestry grounds through his grandfather, which has led to speculation he will be the next Kiwi to join the Welsh team. He spent one season with Scarlets in 2015-16 so is already familiar with the setup. His coach at Scarlets back then is newly appointed Wales coach Wayne Pivoc.

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“I love the people and culture there, and after that wee stint I probably looked at it more seriously. But I haven’t had any talks with clubs over there and the sole focus is to try to turn this club around and hopefully help inflict a bit of change,” he said.

“Wayne is a really good coach, he’s done a lot at the Scarlets and he’ll have a good shot at it with the Welsh job in a couple of years. But I don’t think there are any stars aligning there.”

It is possible Collins pursues that path to international rugby when comes off contract after the Rugby World Cup next year, but he believes the best place for his development is still in New Zealand.

“You’ve got to be good enough to play that level first and it’s unknown if I am yet. Everyone wants to play as high as they can and international rugby is the pinnacle. It’s definitely a goal.”

He said his commitment to the Blues is based on positive actions within the club, that may not seem visible to those on the outside looking in.

“I would have probably jumped ship if I didn’t see [that]. I know from the outside all you see is results – and we’re in a results-driven industry – but from what the coaches are doing, and the changes we’re making internally, it’s leading us in the right way.

“We’ve just got to click, win a few games, get a few habits together and it will start snowballing and everything will flow on. The effort and intent has always been there, it’s just finer details we’ve been lacking a wee bit.

“We’re going through a tough time but the decision to recommit is to try help change this club round.”

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Blues fullback Collins clears up talk of Wales move