Rugby in shock as legend Jonah Lomu passes away
The world of rugby has been plunged into shock after it was confirmed that New Zealand rugby icon Jonah Lomu has died at the age of 40.
Lomu emerged as a superstar of rugby after his breakthrough tournament at the 1995 World Cup and turned in some memorable performances in an international career that ended in 2002.
He was in London with his family for the recent World Cup and his Twitter feet confirms he enjoyed a holiday in Dubai last week as he appeared to be in good health.
Yet news broke early on Wednesday morning in New Zealand that confirms one of the country's sporting greats had passed away at a tragically early age.
The news was confirmed via a message from the All Blacks official Twitter account:
NZR CEO Steve Tew: "We're all shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Jonah Lomu....— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) November 18, 2015
Tributes quickly flowed for a giant who became a superstar to a wider sporting audience, with his passing sparking a rush of tributes:
Really awful news to wake up to this morning. Jonah was rugby's first real superstar. Thoughts are with his family.— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) November 18, 2015
Jonah Lomu was one of the greatest rugby players ever. #RIP— Cathal Pendred (@Pendred) November 18, 2015
Jonah Lomu has died!Unbelievable. At the age of 40! Incredibly sad to hear.— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) November 18, 2015
RIP Jonah Lomu. 40 years old, condolences to his family and friends. 🇳🇿— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) November 18, 2015
This was the try that propelled Lomu to the top of the game, as he left England players trailing in his wake back in 2005. Gone but never forgotten, Lomu was a rugby player who deserved his status as a legend.