It is with great sadness that today we learnt of the death of Jonah Lomu.
Aged just 40 Lomu died of suspected sudden kidney failure. Though Lomu has a history of kidney issues; his playing career interrupted by nephrotic syndrome, the news of his death is no less upsetting.
Lomu managed 37 tries in his 63 test; more then half of which (20) came in the 1995 season, including his superhuman displays at the rugby World Cup. He showed bravery and courage no man could rival to fight his nephrotic syndrome and continue to be a shining presence in international rugby. His test career began aged only 19, the youngest player to make their All Black debut. Lomu amassed 215 points all together throughout his illustrious international career.
At 6ft 5in and weighing in at 18.5 stone Lomu changed the way wingers played. He brought physicality to be feared whilst still managing to cover the ground with unerring grace.
He is survived by wife Nadene and two kids Braylee (6) and Dhyreille (5).
It is fitting that in his final weeks he got to see his beloved All Blacks lift the Webb Ellis cup once more.
He will leave behind a big hole in the world of rugby. A hole nearly as big as he used to make in defences worldwide. The only man who I would happily watch run over the English time after time.
A true superstar of the game he will be remembered as such. He will also be remembered as the gentle giant off the pitch, a smile never far from his face. An incredibly kind man who always had time for a photo or to sign something for kids.
Heavens XV gets ever stronger.
Rest easy big fella, thank you for the memories and thank you for being one of my heroes and a true inspiration.
Jonah Lomu; May 12 1975 – November 18 2015.