Tuesday 17 September 2019

Tributes pour in after death of Jonah Lomu

New Zealand’s Jonah Lomu runs over England’s Neil Back on the way to the try line during the All Blacks’ match at Twickenham in London in 2002.
New Zealand’s Jonah Lomu runs over England’s Neil Back on the way to the try line during the All Blacks’ match at Twickenham in London in 2002.
Jonah Lomu

Steve McMorran Wellington

The great and good took to social media to pay tribute to Jonah Lomu, following the death of the former All Blacks favourite at the age of 40.

Here is some of the most poignant early reaction to the news of the death of one of rugby union's greats:

"Deeply saddened to hear of Jonah Lomu's unexpected passing this morning. The thoughts of the entire country are with his family" - New Zealand prime minister John Key.

"Our thoughts are with the @JONAHTALILOMU family tonight. A very special person. @AllBlacks" - former New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick.

"I still can't believe the sad news. Love & thoughts go out to Jonahs family #RIPJonah" - current All Blacks favourite Dan Carter.

"I am so, so devastated to hear of the passing away of @JONAHTALILOMU The greatest superstar and just a fabulous human being. Deeply saddened" - former England international Jonny Wilkinson.

"The All Black in Blue. Rugby's first global superstar... a friend we will miss always #RIPJonah #legend #alwaysablue" - one of Lomu's former clubs, Cardiff Blues.

"Can't believe that Jonah Lomu has passed away. Was with him and his wife and family for an evening last month. So sad, life is so cruel. RIP Jonah you were a true legend and a gentleman. You changed the game of rugby and will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with your family" - former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies.

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"#RIP Jonah Lomu such sad news.huge heart&warmest smile ever.Saw him during RWC&had the warmest welcome.proud to have called him a friend" - former England international Phil Greening.

"RIP Jonah Lomu - devastating news! True legend of the game" - Sale's England international Danny Cipriani.

"Devastated the greatest ever has passed away! The worlds in mourning for such an amazing talent yet genuine & humble human. R.I.P Jonah Lomu" - Australian international James O'Connor.

"Very sad news about Jonah Lomu, such an inspirational sportsman on and off the field" - English sprinter Andrew Pozzi.

"Gutted to hear the passing of @JONAHTALILOMU a sporting legend gone too soon!" - England and Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland.

"RIP Jonah Lomu. Im not a big rugby fan but watching this guy was something else" - Hull City defender Curtis Davies.

"Sad sad news.. The man who gave kiwis the desire to play for the All Blacks. Thank you @JONAHTALILOMU will miss you big guy! #RILTokoUso" - former New Zealand scrum-half Piri Weepu.

"RIP Jonah Lomu. Terribly sad to die so young. The first & one of only a handful of rugby players to become a true global sports star" - former England hooker and pundit Brian Moore.

"Can't believe the news that #JonahLomu has died. Such a sad day. He single handedly changed the game of rugby. Rugby's 1st global super star" - ex-England captain Lewis Moody.

"THE greatest rugby player who globalised our game and inspired millions. I'll proudly say to my kids I knew and admired him. #JonahLomu" - former England scrum-half Matt Dawson.

"RIP Jonah Lomu an absolute legend and an inspiration for millions of rugby players across the world" - current England international Brad Barritt.

"Tragic news. We have lost one of the best ever to play our game. A great player and a great man. Gone too soon. RIP Jonah Lomu" - Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend.

"#RIPJonahLomu The greatest player to play the game!!! Prayers & condolences to the Lomu family. #MyHero #Legend" - South Africa wing JP Pietersen.

"Such sad news to wake up to. A childhood hero. There will never be another Jonah #RIP" - France full-back Scott Spedding.

"So sad to hear about Jonah. A genuine legend both on and off the park. Thoughts are with your family and friends. #RIPJonahLomu" - New Zealand cricketer Ross Taylor.

"So sad to hear that Jonah Lomu has died. Rugby's first global star, what a player and more important what a good guy #verysad" - ex-England captain Will Carling.

"#RIPJonah I will never forget that semi final in 1995. Watching one man change a game into a Global Sport in 80 minutes" - former England centre Will Greenwood.

"Really shocked to wake up and hear that the biggest and best rugby legend of all time @JONAHTALILOMU has passed away. RIP the big guy" - current England forward James Haskell.

"Jonah Lomu was a legend, blazed a trail, took the sport into a different era with his global recognition. Talent and humility in abundance" - ex-Scotland international Kenny Logan.

"Rest easy Jonah.. You've been an inspiration to so many during & after your playing career.. The reason I started playing rugby! #RIPJonah" - Australia fly-half Quade Cooper.

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