Jonah Lomu

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A player who has been called many things by many men 1,Jonah Lomu caused a sensation when he burst onto the world stage during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. At nearly two metres tall, weighing comfortably in excess of eighteen stone, and clocked at 10.98s for the hundred, the young Jonah blasted his was down the wing for New Zealand. Teams after team tried to stop him, and those who were not fully aware of his potential, such as England in the semi-final, were simply overwhelmed. South Africa were the only team to stop this behemoth, through a cunning combination of prayer and gang-tackling. This is not quite fair to the Spingboks: they worked hard on a game plan that both stopped Lomu and prevented this concentration on one man from leaving holes for others to exploit, and their success should be judged by the fact that it was their captain, Francois Pinnear, who picked up the Webb Ellis trophy, rather than the All Blacks’ Sean Fitzpatrick. Nonetheless, Lomu’s fame led to a flurry of rumours of moves to the NFL, rugby league or English club rugby. None of these moves materialised, and Lomu’s form soon faded. This turned out to be due to a kidney disorder, from which he was not expected to recover. However, after a period in which his weight ballooned to over twenty-one stone 2, Lomu turned the corner, and made it back into the All Black squad in time to tour the UK at the end of 1997. Though he was not yet fit enough to play, this foreshadowed his eventual return to the All Black ranks, first as an impact 3 player and then as an ever-present in the 1999 World Cup, in which he is currently the leading try-scorer. His career record can be found at

1) “a freak”, W. Carling, 1995
2) and when he was eating two chickens a day
3) heavy impact

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