Rugby World Cup 2011

Lomu: I turned to custard

2011-10-24 13:08
Jonah Lomu (AFP)

Auckland - New Zealand great Jonah Lomu said it felt as if he had "turned to custard" after suffering his latest health scare.

Last month the former All Blacks wing was admitted to hospital with kidney failure, days after featuring in the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony.

He spent 16 days in Auckland Hospital before being discharged but recently dropped in on the Australia squad ahead of their World Cup third-place playoff match against Wales.

And on Monday saw him well enough to attend a ceremony in Auckland where he was one of several new inductees into the International Rugby Board hall of fame.

"I did the opening ceremony and I felt really good," the 36-year-old Lomu said at an awards dinner which took place the day after hosts New Zealand beat France 8-7 to win the World Cup final at Auckland's Eden Park.

"Then the next day it turned to custard. When the docs tell you you're knocking on the door and you see your two sons, that puts life into perspective."

Lomu, 36, was diagnosed in 1995 with the rare kidney disorder nephrotic syndrome, and underwent a transplant in 2004, receiving the organ donated by friend and New Zealand radio broadcaster Grant Kereama.

Regarded as rugby union's first global superstar, Lomu has been based in France in recent times but returned to New Zealand for the World Cup.

He rose to prominence with his devastating performances in the 1995 World Cup and also played a major part in New Zealand's 1999 campaign.

Lomu still holds the record for most tries at the World Cup, with 15 in total.

However his illness eventually cut short his playing career, leaving him with a record of 37 tries in 63 Tests for New Zealand.


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