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Player was suffering kidney diseases

Lomu ‘rugby’s first global superstar’ dies at 40

Jonah LomuRugby union lost one of its greatest ever players today with the death of All Blacks star Jonah Lomu in Auckland at the age of 40.

Lomu,  regarded as the game’s first global superstar,  had suffered from kidney disease for some 20 years and had a transplant in 2004. He was awaiting another transplant while undergoing dialysis treatment.

Despite his chronic illness his death was described as unexpected. He had recently taken part in commercial activities during the World Cup in England.

His death was announced to a subdued New Zealand Parliament ahead of its opening today.

Lomu, who burst on to the scene at the 1995 World Cup, recorded 37 tries in 63 tests, seven at that tournament, including four in the semi-final against England.

He was born to Tongan parents in South Auckland. He played his last test against Wales in 2002.


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