http://stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3635798a1823,00.htmlLomu returning with eye on World Cup
12 April 2006Â
Former All Black Jonah Lomu, who has not started a rugby match for the Cardiff Blues since early February after sustaining a hamstring injury, insists that he can still play for New Zealand in next year's World Cup.
The former New Zealand super star is fighting rumours that his career is sliding into oblivion and has vowed to force his way into Graham Henry's All Blacks squad for the 2007 World Cup in France, the South Wales Echo newspaper reported.
"There has been a great deal said about my fitness and my future and to be honest there are plenty of people out there who have been pretty judgmental about it," said Lomu, who made his name as a 19-year-old at the 1995 World Cup.
He is reported likely to return to New Zealand in six weeks.
"I have my goals and my immediate future lies back in New Zealand," Lomu told the newspaper.
"There is no reason why I can't get back in the national side and show people I am good enough to be considered for a place in the World Cup.
"That is my ultimate goal and I am determined to get there." YOUR SAY
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Lomu, 30, who played the last of his 63 tests for the All Blacks in 2002, underwent a kidney transplant in 2004 and went to Wales last year to help revive his career.
"I wasn't in great shape when I arrived because I had been away from the game for the best part of three years," Lomu said.
"I had shot up in weight and was struggling with my fitness.
"But the guys have been great. I have trained with them every day, but I have also spent hours training on my own.
AdvertisementAdvertisement"I have now lost between 10 and 11 kilos which means I can get back on the serious weights and start working my way back to where I once was."
When Lomu first arrived in Wales, his speed had disappeared and his potency on the field had gone with it.
Hours of work with speed coaches Linford Christie and Darren Campbell, as well as former Commonwealth Games high hurdler Paul Gray, have helped him improve.
"It has helped me no end and I am sure that as the weeks go on I will get quicker and quicker," he said.
"Once I get back to New Zealand I think much of that lost speed will be back.
"If that's the case, and I'm sure it will be, I will have a good crack at winning a contract to play Super 14 rugby.
"If I achieve that, there is no reason why I can't get back in the national side and show people that I am good enough to be considered for a place in the World Cup."