Sport

10 of Jonah Lomu’s greatest moments

Jonah Lomu, the New Zealand rugby union great, has died at the age of 40.

Scorer of 37 tries in an All Black shirt, he stormed the fields of New Zealand rugby, Cardiff and Marsellie, he was a genuine legend of the sport.

Diagnosed with a rare kidney condition in 1996, his death was "totally unexpected", with family spokesman John Mayhew telling New Zealand television that he had only recently returned from the UK, where he had been supporting his nation's win in the World Cup. 

As the plaudits pour in, we've compiled ten of Lomu's greatest moments - a list that doesn't even come close to capturing the power and brilliance of this player. Tell us about your favourite Lomu memories in the comments below. 

England vs New Zealand, 18 June 1995

England were off to a flier in South Africa's world cup - they'd topped their group and battled to a three point win over Australia in the Quarter Finals. Next up, New Zealand. You can blame it on tired legs, on a defensive group drained by their clash with Australia, but even at full fitness no one in an England shirt could prevent Jonah Lomu from reaching that line...

Taking the mickey out of Scotland

There’s ‘men against boys’ and then there’s a cocky Jonah Lomu against a timid Scottish opposition almost going out of their way to avoid touching his herculean anatomy.

France Barbarians vs New Zealand, November 1995

This tackle? No. What about this tackle? Too high. Two men will bring him down surely? Three? Sacre bleu...

New Zealand vs England, 2002

New Zealand. England. Twickenham. Truthfully, the home nation’s beefy backs Ben Cohen and Mike Tindall might as well not have bothered turning up such was the ease in which Lomu swatted them away in his way to scoring one of his most memorable tries.

New Zealand vs South Africa, July 2000

Despite towering over players at six feet and five inches, Jonah Lomu could still shift his considerable mass over 100 metres in 10.8 seconds - but he wasn't a blundering bull. Lomu's handoffs and ability to manoeuvre out of contact made him true terror when he got up to speed, as demonstrated here when he smashed the better part of South Africa's team. Sit down, Corné Krige.

Ludicrous run vs Tonga

‘Well, someone hold onto him lads.’

Jonah Lomu vs Marcus Di Rollo, May 2001

Scottish centre Marcus Di Rollo isn't a huge man. Sure, he's six foot one, weighs around 100 kilos, but he was still found lacking against the likes of Lomu. Ever wondered what it looks like to throw a man across a rugby pitch without breaking your stride? Watch on...

15 Rugby World Cup tries

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You read that correctly – 15! Despite never managing to win a world cup, Lomu still holds the joint record number of RWC tries across his career. Gawp over them all below.

Australia vs New Zealand, July 2000

The opening game of this Tri Nations tournament has been heralded by many in the souther hemisphere as the "finest rugby game ever played" - New Zealand winning a toing-and-froing contest 39-35. We won't bother trying to analyse every moment Lomu spent on the ball - just watch the following highlight reel for a sense of how influential Lomu was.

45 yard run and try for Auckland Blues

Turning out for his hometown team, the young wing warrior ran a good 45yds before jinking past Joost van der Westhuizen to score an excellent try during a cup semi-final in 1996. Raw talent at its finest.

BONUS: Getting his very own video game

Testament to the huge commercial impact Lomu had on his sport, Codemasters Jonah Lomu rugby, first released in 1997, is still the biggest selling rugby video game series of all time. Johnny Wilkinson’s still waiting for his.

(Images: Rex)