TODAY |

Shock, sorrow at death of All Black great Jonah Lomu

New Zealand, Tonga and the rugby world in general is in shock following the death of All Black great Jonah Lomu at the age of 40.

Mastercard RWC Ambassador Jonah Lomu says he doesn't care how the All Blacks get the job done against Australia, as long as they win.
Source: 1 Sport

Simon Dallow will host a half-hour special on TV1 at 5.30pm, followed by comprehensive coverage on ONE News at 6pm. 

Former All Blacks doctor John Mayhew confirmed to ONE News that Lomu has passed away.

Wife Nadene Lomu says his death is a "devastating loss for our family".

A first cousin, who did not want to be named, said the Tongan community was in shock.

Born to Tongan parents in south Auckland, Lomu played rugby league until he was 14, before switching to rugby at Wesley College.

Mastercard RWC Ambassador Jonah Lomu says playing 100-plus All Blacks Tests in the front row is "special to do." Source: 1 NEWS

Picked by Laurie Mains for the All Blacks against France out of school in 1994, by his own admission, he was lost on the wing as they lost a two-Test series to France.

But Mains kept faith, despite calls for Lomu to be dropped, picking him for the 1995 World Cup in South Africa, where he burst onto the global stage with seven tries.

His four-try demolition of England in the semi-final remains one of the greatest performances in the game's history. 

His 15 World Cup tries remains a record.

It was also 1995 when he was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a serious kidney disorder.

Jonah Lomu had died at the age of 40. Source: 1 NEWS

His health problems came to light when he missed the historic 1996 Springboks tour, and he revealed his kidney condition to the public later that year.

After missing most of the 1997 season with illness, he returned for the end of year tour to the UK and starred in the 1999 Rugby World Cup with a further eight tries.

In 2000 he nailed a match-winning try in the 'game-of-the-century' - to down the Wallabies in Sydney, and remained in the All Blacks until 2002.

But as his health worsened, he required a kidney transplant in 2004, from radio DJ Grant Kereama.

He tried to make a rugby comeback in the NPC with North Harbour in 2005 but succumbed to injury. 

Later that year he signed with the Cardiff Blues and scored against the Newport Gwent Dragons. But a broken angle ended his stint - and his first class career at 185 games.

In total, he notched 122 tries.

The All Blacks legend went back to his roots with a version of 'Ka Mate' on the streets of London. Source: 1 NEWS

 

Lomu, widely recognised as among the five greatest players of all time, was  married three times and was living with his third wife Nadene, whom he married in 2012.

He has two children, Brayley and Dhyreille.

The rugby legend spoke to CNN about why he played rugby. Source: 1 NEWS

Lomu was indicted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in October 2011 - the same year that his body began to reject his kidney and he went on dialysis, which he received three days a week.

He still managed a busy career in ambassadorial roles, and was prominent during the recent World Cup in England. 

More to come.


Topics