Phil Kingsley Jones, the man who helped guide Jonah Lomu to global stardom, has died aged 72.
Kinglsey Jones was Lomu's manager for a decade as the big wing etched his name into rugby folklore.
He is also credited with keeping Lomu in New Zealand when rugby league came offering big money.
Born in Wales, Kingsley Jones moved to New Zealand in 1983, becoming closely associated with the Counties Manukau union.
“Phil would be one of the only people who could walk into any rugby club in the world and know someone who would want to buy him a beer," said former Counties player and friend Errol Brain.
"His larger than life personality, sharp brain and ability to think outside the square was a great gift.
“What he did for Jonah Lomu was groundbreaking. He was the pioneer who turned Jonah into rugby’s first global superstar all while keeping him grounded and connected to what was important, which was our region.
"Such was the impact that many of the young ones coming through today still look up to him and are aware of Jonah’s legacy.”
Kingsley Jones had been suffering from ill health.
He is survived by wife Verina, three children, 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.