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New Zealand’s Lomu dies aged 40

Jonah Lomu, considered one of New Zealand’s finest rugby union players of all time, has died at the age of 40. New Zealand rugby union…

Jonah Lomu, considered one of New Zealand’s finest rugby union players of all time, has died at the age of 40.
New Zealand rugby union great Jonah Lomu has died aged 40.
Lomu, who scored 37 tries in 63 matches for New Zealand between 1994 and 2002, had been diagnosed with a rare and serious kidney condition by 1996.
It forced him to quit the game and he had a kidney transplant in 2004, but the organ stopped functioning in 2011.
“Jonah was a legend of our game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world,” said New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew.
“We’re lost for words and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jonah’s family.”
Family spokesman John Mayhew told New Zealand television that Lomu’s death was “totally unexpected” and that he had only arrived back from the UK on Tuesday, after spending time there for the Rugby World Cup.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said: “The thoughts of the entire country are with his family.”
Speaking to the BBC, New Zealand Sports Minister Jonathan Coleman said Lomu “was the first global rugby superstar”.
He was a “huge inspiration to Polynesian men and actually in later years with his battles against kidney disease, very inspirational to people suffering from chronic diseases as well”, he said.

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