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All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu dies aged 40

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New Zealand rugby legend Jonah Lomu has died aged just 40. The All Blacks star, who was diagnosed with a rare and serious kidney condition in 1996, goes down as one of the sport’s greatest ever players.


Tongan descendant Lomu began his illustrious international career in 1994 against France in Christchurch, and played for numerous domestic teams in New Zealand in his early career.

Lomu also spent one season at Cardiff Blues before his retirement in 2006.

But it was in the international stage that Lomu became prolific. He scored 37 tries in 63 matches between 1994 and 2002, including four in the 1995 World Cup semi-final against England.

He retired as the World Cup’s top try-scorer with 15, but South African Brian Habana had equaled this impressive feat as recently as this summer’s World Cup.

The 6’4″, 18 stone machine was known for his pace and power, and was capable of intimidating any opposing player. And despite never winning the World Cup, he is a player that has simply achieved so much more than any other in the game.

But following a kidney transplant in 2004, his body later rejected the organ which stopped functioning in 2011, a significant impact on his health.

Needless to say, the Rugby, and sports world in general, have paid tribute to the All Blacks legend.

New Zealand rugby chief executive, Steve Tew: “Jonah was a legend of our game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world.

“We’re lost for words and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jonah’s family.”

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key: “The thoughts of the entire country are with his family.”

New Zealand Sports Minister Jonathan Coleman: ” He was the first global rugby superstar.

“He was a huge inspiration to Polynesian men and actually in later years with his battles against kidney disease, very inspirational to people suffering from chronic diseases as well.”


all blacks Jonah Lomu New Zealand Rugby

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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