Rugby

Emotional reunion for Lomu, Joost

2015-02-10 09:24
Jonah Lomu (File)

Cape Town - Two 1995 Rugby World Cup heroes, Joost van der Westhuizen and Jonah Lomu, had an emotional reunion in Pretoria on Sunday.

Lomu is currently on a world tour producing a documentary and movie titled The Book of Jonah L. It is a joint project between Lomu's company, 7one5, and French filmmakers 3W.

Benoit Pensivy, the owner of 3W, is currently travelling with Lomu on his world tour. He said the former All Black wing came to South Africa because the 1995 World Cup here changed his life forever.

Pensivy told Netwerk24 that Lomu is travelling to 10 countries with the aim of telling a strong, emotional story in the lead-up to this year's Rugby World Cup.

Pensivy said Lomu was shocked when he saw Van der Westhuizen even though he knew the former Bok scrumhalf was wheelchair bound and suffers from Motor Neuron Disease.

"The meeting was very touching and Jonah was very sad. He always had high regard for Joost. It was, after all, he who brought down Lomu for the first time during the 1995 tournament."

Pensivy was referring to a tackle in the 1995 World Cup final between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Ellis Park. Van der Westhuizen performed a remarkable tackle on Lomu after it appeared that the big winger was on his way to the tryline. South Africa went on the win 15-12 after extra time.

Lomu, who boasts 63 international caps for the All Blacks, is often regarded as one of the greatest rugby players of all time. He burst onto the international rugby scene at the 1994 Hong Kong Sevens tournament and was widely recognised as the best player at the 1995 World Cup. He also holds the record of highest try scorer in Rugby World Cup history with 15 tries.

Van der Westhuizen thanked Lomu on Twitter for visiting him on Sunday.


Joost van der Westhuizen's critical tackle on Jonah Lomu in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final (Gallo Images)

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