R.I.P. Jonah Lomu: The gentle giant

The barnstorming All Blacks winger will go down as one of the best to ever play the sport, re-defining the wing position with his size, speed and skill.

Lomu was a one-of-a-kind player on the wing. Source: Getty
Lomu was a one-of-a-kind player on the wing. Source: Getty

Lomu, who won 64 All Blacks caps suffered from a rare kidney disease, which first showed signs in 1995, however he kept his illness a secret.

In 1996, he was diagnosed with Nephrotic syndrome, which forced him to take some time away from the sport, missing most of the 1997 season.

The try that was seen around the world in 1995. Source: Getty
The try that was seen around the world in 1995. Source: Getty

The condition often left him exhausted and bedridden during his career, with his training and conditioning scheduled around combatting the disease.

At the peak of his powers Lomu’s bulldozing efforts on the rugby field made him a global icon, capturing the imagination of fans around the world, none more than his four-try effort against England in the 1995 World Cup, creating the now-famous image of him towering over Mike Catt.

The 6-foot-5 try-scoring machine was unstoppable on the field, but as time went on his form deteriorated as his condition got worse.

Lomu was forced to quit the sport in 2002 and in 2011 he had a major health scare when his body rejected the kidney that was transplanted in 2004.

The softly spoken giant, who's career was sadly cut short had been on dialysis treatment for more than a decade at the time of his death.



Lomu was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007 and appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours that same year.

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