Operation Breakthrough shares rugby world sadness Jonah Lomu news
It is with great sadness today to learn of the news that Jonah Lomu, one of the true legends of rugby, has passed away aged 40 years old. Jonah inspired many fans and players, young and old, with his powerful running and explosive approach to the game. He represented New Zealand at the Hong Kong 7’s and also as an All Black winning 63 caps and scoring 37 test tries in his career. Jonah was a player who epitomised, with great humility, respect for the game and helping young players develop by inspiring them by his presence and friendliness, none more so than on his visit to Operation Breakthrough in 2007. He was willing to share words of wisdom with a great smile and helping hand and together with Springbok Captain Francois Pienaar,was happy to be at a cheque presentation from Standard Chartered Bank for the Breakthrough rugby programme.
Jonah Lomu was perhaps the first superstar of modern rugby, his impact on the game will be forever remembered as a true sporting legend.
“Jonah was a great friend to Hong Kong rugby and his Breakthrough visit with Francois will always be a great memory – our kids were just amazed at these giants, and Jonah put them in fits of giggles by throwing them over his shoulder! Our thoughts are with his wife Nadene and his sons at this terribly sad time."
- Operation Breakthrough Director and Hong Kong Rugby Union, General Manager Robbie McRobbie-
“It was a great privilege to know Jonah, I interviewed him in France a few years ago at his house when he was playing in Marseille and my binding memory was that he spoke with great reverence about all the players he faced but never once had a bad word to say about anyone. In fact he would not be drawn into saying anything bad either in his words “that was the game of rugby you laid your body on the line come what may”.
- Operation Breakthrough Director Mal Thompson-