All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu dies

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 18 November 2015, 1:07p.m.

Rugby legend Jonah Lomu has died.

He had a kidney transplant in 2004, and has battled to maintain his health since then.

Jonah first represented New Zealand in the national under-19 side in 1993, and played for the under-21 side the following year.

He was the youngest All Black test player ever when he debuted at the age of 19 years and 45 days against France in 1994.

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He had recently been in England for the with his family as a spokesman for Heineken during the Rugby World Cup.

Lomu made 73 appearances for the All Blacks, making his Test debut in 1994 against France in Christchurch.

Lomu scored 43 tries in the black jersey, before having to quit the sport in 2002 because of Nephrotic syndrome, a rare kidney disease.

He suffered a health scare in 2011, pulling out of the Fight for Life charity boxing event with kidney troubles, just seven years after his life-saving kidney transplant.

Lomu spent the last couple of months touring the UK with his family for the Rugby World Cup.

"By the end of it I'll have learnt the ins and outs of every clinic in the country," he joked to the London Telegraph.

"I am thankful that I have a beautiful wife and the kids are here. Nadine makes sure that my family stays together.

"She is my manager, my wife, my best friend and my boss!"

He hoped that his children would get a special insight into the game where their father made his name.

"It's a game that has given me so much and it's an opportunity to show them what their dad used to do," he told the Daily Express. "They love their rugby."

Jonah Lomu was just 40 years old.

Additional reporting from NZ Herald

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