Jonah Lomu: Attacking All the Way

The sudden passing away of the legendary All Blacks winger Jonah Lomu has plunged the world of Rugby into grief.

DEAN TREMI / AFP

Jonah Lomu had a simple philosophy while playing rugby, “My way of thinking when I was running with the ball was that I will use every single option that is available to me but if you leave me with no option, I will run over you!” He was just 19 when he took the world of rugby by storm at the 1995 World Cup terrorising defences with pace, power and an iron will to succeed.

Lomu epitomised the qualities of an ideal rugby player and his influence was such that he even caught the attention of non-rugby watchers. Rugby as a sport was waiting to explode on the world stage and there was no better flag-bearer than the New Zealand winger. The sight of the 6 foot 5 inch, 118 kg, furiously quick Lomu was a sight to behold! He looked unstoppable on the field and a fearsome opponent for his rivals.

Holder of record for the most tries scored in the Rugby World Cup history, his performances were simply awe-inspiring.

Disease Was A Challenge

A gentle giant off the field, Jonah Lomu was diagnosed with a rare kidney disorder known as nephrotic syndrome. He had to undergo a kidney transplant in 2004, which worked for him till 2011. He had been dependent on dialysis ever since. His never-say-die attitude never deserted him in spite of his condition.

WILLIAM WEST / AFP

“I gave the person the respect that they are due as a rugby player but outside of that, I don’t fear nobody,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s just the way I attacked life. This disease is a challenge but you either lie down and die or you accept it and carry on. That’s where I have been very fortunate. I have just never been able to accept coming second to anybody or anything, including an illness.”

Despite his illness, he covered the recently concluded Rugby World Cup, which his country won, with a TV network and even took time out to perform the famous Maori war dance ‘Haka’ in a promotional activity on the streets of UK along with the current members of the New Zealand team.

your comments