Tribute to Jonah Lomu: a true sporting giant

As the world mourns the loss of one of rugby's greatest ever players, we look back at the highlights of Jonah Lomu's glittering career.

Peter Iantorno November 18, 2015

The world of sport is mourning the loss of one of its greatest ever stars, as All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has died.

The New Zealand icon passed away at the age of just 40, after finally succumbing to a 10-year battle with a rare kidney disease.

The legendary winger spent his last days in Dubai on holiday, after working at the England Rugby World Cup. He landed back in New Zealand on Tuesday. 

Famed for his incredible athleticism, bulldozing style and outstanding skill, Lomu is widely regarded as one of the great talents in the history of rugby union.

Tributes have been pouring in from the rugby community, with All Blacks record point scorer Dan Carter tweeting, “I still can't believe the sad news. Love and thoughts go out to Jonah's family.”

England's World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson added, “I am so, so devastated to hear of the passing away of @JONAHTALILOMU the greatest superstar and just a fabulous human being. Deeply saddened.”

Jonah Lomu Dubai.jpg Photos from Lomu's recent trip to Dubai.

Lomu burst on to the international stage at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. At just 19 years old, his performance in the All Blacks' semi-final encounter with England, in which he scored four tries and trampled over a number of experienced England internationals, made the world sit up and take note of his extraordinary talent.

He went on to score a total of 43 tries in 73 matches for New Zealand, and although he never ended up winning a World Cup, he is the joint-top try scorer in the tournament's history – with his 15 tries in 11 games during the 1995 and 1999 tournaments equalled only by South Africa's Brian Habana.

Jonah Lomu was a rugby player ahead of his time, who managed to reach a level of performance never before seen on a rugby pitch, despite suffering from his illness for a large chunk of his career. He truly was a giant of the game in every respect.