THE most incredible — and scary — thing about Jonah Lomu’s remarkable career is that he dominated world rugby despite never being at 100 per cent health.
Before and after terrorising and trampling opponents on the rugby field, Lomu was often exhausted, unable to train and hooked up to hour upon hour of tortuous dialysis treatment.
The All Blacks great — who died on Wednesday morning aged 40 — put rugby on the global map when he dominated the 1995 Rugby World Cup as a 20-year-old with scant international experience.
He memorably steamrolled a trail of England defenders in the 1995 semi-final, scoring four tries with a combination of size, speed, strength and balance never before seen in rugby.
Former All Blacks coach Graham Henry coached Lomu in Super Rugby at the Blues from 1996 as the professional era kicked off.
Henry told foxsports.com.au that Lomu kept his health issues private.
“It didn’t come to the surface until later on, until after I was involved with him,” Henry said.
“He had some challenges there.
“He had a couple of years with the Blues and he was a sensational player.
“He was unique. Big, fast, skilful and he scored tries that nobody else could, quite frankly.
“They wouldn’t even think about scoring them from those situations.
“So he was a very special rugby player and he brought a new dimension to the game.
“And since he retired he’s become a great ambassador for the game — for the IRB and sponsors.”
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