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Tributes continue to pour in for Jonah Lomu

Lomu played 63 tests on the wing for New Zealand, scoring 37 international tries.

Former All Blacks winger, Jonah Lomu. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Former springbok players have paid tribute to legendary All Black Jonah Lomu who died at the age of 40.

Lomu burst onto the international scene in 1994, and revolutionised rugby before his forced retirement in 2007

He recently commentated at the rugby world cup in England in October.

Lomu was suffering from a kidney disorder and he was on the waiting list for a second kidney after his first transplant failed in 2011.

Former Springbok Kobus Wiese who faced Lomu in the 1995 rugby world cup final, says it's a tragedy that he died so young.

"When he came on the scene he made a huge impact, not only in New Zealand rugby and rugby world. He was extremely competitive player but he was a very likable gentleman off the field. So it's a tragic day to lose someone that young."

He played 63 tests on the wing for New Zealand, scoring 37 international tries.

RIP Jonah Lomu. Delighted I am just about old enough to have enjoyed you in your prime. #RIPJonah #JonahLomu pic.twitter.com/o08sihT8A6

As a South African affected by our racial history, I perceived rugby as an elite white man's sport, until I watched Jonah Lomu play #RIP

The rugby world lost a legend and a inspiration. The man mountain Jonah lomu will be sadly missed #RIPLomu #Legend pic.twitter.com/qh8mpex8mN

Jonah Lomu's college Athletic records. 1989. pic.twitter.com/l400uEyKo6

Those bare statistics, although impressive enough, tell only part of the story with Lomu's deeds accomplished while he battled nephritic syndrome, a disease that attacked his kidneys and necessitated the transplant in 2004.

Initially plucked from obscurity as an 18-year-old by All Blacks coach Laurie Mains, Lomu found his transition from the loose forward position he played at secondary school to the wing a challenge.

He was dropped after his first two tests against France in 1994 and barely made Mains' Rugby World Cup squad in 1995 after being deemed not fit enough for the fast-paced game the coach wanted to play.

Lomu's performances at the tournament in South Africa, however, electrified the rugby world as he scored seven tries, four in the semi-final against England alone with one when he trampled over fullback Mike Catt leaving many speechless.

The pace and power displayed by the 1.95m tall and 119kg Lomu changed the wing position with the traditional lightweight flyer gradually all but disappearing from the test game.

The ravages of Lomu's disease had begun to affect him by 1998, however, and his performances went downhill, although he still made the 1999 World Cup and scored eight tries before playing his last test against Wales in 2002.

Earlier this year, Lomu called Jerry Collins his hero, following his car crash in France.

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