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Jonah Lomu’s death leaves rugby fraternity stunned

Lomu died suddenly at his Auckland home, shortly after returning to the UK from a holiday in Dubai.

FILE: Former New Zealand All Blacks player Jonah Lomu. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The death of former All Blacks star Jonah Lomu has stunned the rugby world, prompting tributes to the 40-year-old from across the globe.

Lomu died suddenly at his Auckland home, shortly after returning to the UK from a holiday in Dubai.

He had recently featured at the Rugby World Cup in England in a number of ambassadorial roles.

He played 63 tests for New Zealand, scoring 37 tries, including 15 at two world cups - a record he shared with Springbok wing Bryan Habana.

The explosive impact that he made at the 1995 tournament in South Africa earned him recognition as the sport's first truly global superstar.

Lomu had suffered from a serious kidney condition from as early as 1996 and underwent a transplant in 2004.

Morne du Plessis, manager of the 1995 Bok world cup winning team, says Lomu leaves a huge hole.

"When any young man dies at the age of 40 it's sad. But he was a man of such talent, a beautiful human being... My condolences go out to his family, New Zealand and the rugby fraternity."

Former Springbok players have also paid tribute to legendary Lomu.

Former Springbok Chester Williams, who faced Lomu in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final, says lomu was a good friend.

"He was a gentle giant off the field but on the field he was the most fearsome player in the world of rugby. He was strong, skillful and he's the ultimate legend."

Former all blacks team mate Mark "Sharky" Robinson says, "The image that I have is how he could turn a game [around], he certainly wasn't the best man to have against you and I had the pleasure of playing with him. He could turn a game around and break defences."

REACTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

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