Jonah Lomu: Rugby Superstar Melded Power and Speed
“Jonah Lomu, whose size, strength and speed made him one of rugby’s most fearsome wings, a record-setting, nearly unstoppable scorer for the All Blacks” has died aged 40, writes Bruce Weber in an obituary in The New York Times.
Even though Lomu had a kidney disorder his death came unexpected.
“At 6 feet 5 inches and more than 260 pounds, he was a mammoth athlete, with shirt-busting shoulders and muscular thighs that made shrugging off tacklers (when he was not running them over) appear casual”, according to The New York Times.
More than once the big man with a sprinter’s speed contributed to historic wins. Lomu played 63 tests as an All Black; he scored 37 tries and set a Rugby World Cup play record with 15 tries.
Jonah Tali Lomu, a New Zealander of Tongan descent was born in Auckland on May 12, 1975. The rugby star did not have an easy childhood and “he said in many interviews that the anger he had lived with as a child fueled his intensity on the rugby field”.
“Jonah’s contribution to rugby cannot be overstated,” said Bernard Lapasset, the chairman of World Rugby in a statement.
“He was the first superstar player, and through his sheer brilliance and love of the game, he brought much joy to the rugby family and took our sport to a new level of profile.”
He stopped playing in 2002, made a brief comeback after his transplant and retired in 2006.
Lomu is survived by his wife Nadene Quirk and their two sons, Brayley and Dhyreille.
Article Source: The New York Times, Bruce Weber, November 18, 2015
Image Source: Facebook – All Blacks