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LEGENDS WE LOST IN 2015: Jonah Lomu

Jonah Lomu was the youngest ever All Black, and there were never any questions over his ability. (AP Photo/Ross Setford)
Expert
26th December, 2015
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1795 Reads

All Black legend Jonah Lomu has died, aged 40.

The blockbusting winger was the star attraction at the recent Rugby World Cup, holidaying with his family in Dubai afterwards, and arriving home last night.

But between eight and nine o’clock this morning, Jonah Lomu died in Auckland.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear of Jonah Lomu’s passing this morning. The thoughts of the entire country are with his family.”

New Zealand Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew also expressed his despair: “We’re all shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Jonah Lomu,” Tew shared.

Those sentiments will be echoing around the rugby world as Jonah was highly respected and revered as one of the code’s greatest players.

In his 63 Tests between 1994 and 2002, he scored 37 tries, but none more memorable than the one against England in a semi-final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Lomu scored four tries in the 45-29 hammering of England at Newlands, but the first of them has become cemented in rugby folklore.

Just 70 seconds after kick-off Jonah scooped a low pass off the deck and beat a couple of defenders before Mike Catt was in his cross-hairs.

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All 196cm and 122kgs steam-rolled right through Catt and the All Blacks were on their way. A month ago that was voted the greatest try in World Cup history.

The way Lomau trampled all over the hapless Catt has been spoken about as much as Don Bradman’s duck in 1948 at The Oval when all he needed was four runs to average 100 in his career.

But as strong as he was on the football field, Lomu’s kidney was weak, a condition diagnosed as serious even before he stopped playing in 2002.

In 2004 Lomu had a kidney transplant and from all reports it seems as though a second kidney transplant was required.

Only two weeks ago Lomu told interviewers: “I don’t have any regrets, everything I achieved in rugby I cherish.”

Jonah Lomu was as humble as he was legendary around the world.

It would be fair to say there will never be another Don Bradman, nor will there be another Jonah Lomu.

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Jonah’s in the very best of company.

This obituary of Jonah Lomu was originally published here

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