Cheers for that..great watch. Hes had it tough. Good luck to the big fella with his treatment.
Recall going into the '95 World Cup and there was a newspaper competition where you pick fantasy team of XV. My friend picked Jonah Lomu and I vividly remember asking him who's that..I don't think he knew much about him either (iirc he said something like "I like the name" as the reason for picking him). To then watch what he did at the WC is the single most awesome thing I've seen in Rugby (or ever will see). There's something special about seeing something completely new, something that just comes out of nowhere, and blows everything you've seen out of the water. Nowadays this wouldn't happen as the news coverage of everything is so extensive that very little is new. Nothing in my mind will ever top what he did to England...I can still see a shellshocked Will Carling's post match interview; "I do not ever want to face that man again..freak"...or words to that effect. In terms of lighting up the sport, Lomu is the Pele, the Jordan, the Ali...he transcended the game and I don't see anyone coming close again. I feel privileged to have been alive when he did (younger fans missed out big time).
Just caught the end of the vid today...and was struck by the comment by the former NZ coach that Lomu is not appreciated in NZ as opposed to overseas where he is. What's up with that? Tall poppy syndrome in NZ really that bad? (that kiwi woman based in Australia who committed suicide recently complained about this in NZ...and also called on Lorde to leave). NZ folk always come across as very grounded and modest, so it's laudable that no-one is put on a pedestal, however it's important to recognise special talent and to promote it.
Lomu should be used at every single turn to promote NZ as a whole (and Rugby)...just as Beckham is in England (played a massive part in London's successful bid for 2012 Olympics). Ask the average man on the street here to name a NZ Rugby player and Lomu will be the answer...Carter, McCaw etc wouldn't be known outside hardcore Rugby people. For Lomu not to be used as an ambassador for NZ or NZ rugby is a travesty.
Well it's hardly true that Lomu isn't appreciated here...
He's still probably the most famous All Blacks of all time here. He was given his own little segment in the RWC 2011 opener, no other player got it.
He was a freak athlete and the first real superstar of rugby. That said he was also a bit limited and to be honest having met the guy, he's not exactly humble - he talks like he walks on water and everything he says is inspirational. He's appreciated but almost to the point of media saturation here. A bit like Brian O'Driscoll is in Ireland I'd imagine. The fact Lomu has spent so much time away from New Zealand living in France etc, is perhaps part of the reason why he isn't used more in NZ rugby sponsorship (although it's not as if he hasn't been used to promote the game). If you look at 7's becoming part of the Olympics, Lomu was constantly used as an ambassador of the game.
So that NZ coach is wrong? The point he made that I agree with 100% is that after he played his last game for NZ he should have been made an ambassador.
Tbh O'Driscoll rarely features outside a Rugby field. He's a very quiet person and isn't the media type, plus he reached nowhere near the level of superstar status that Lomu acquired (same applies to every other Rugby player). Due almost entirely to slotting over the winning kick Johnny Wilkinson is the only player I can think of that came anywhere near close.
A "bit limited"?. Now thats underappreciating him. He was the most dangerous back in Rugby and put the fear of God into opponents. He was doubled marked, triple marked...teams planned to stop him. He was also the sport's biggest draw card.