About Jonah

Jonah Tali Lomu MNZM

Born 12 May 1975 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Jonah Lomu, the world-wide rugby legend, made his All Blacks debut in 1994 at the age of 19 years, becoming the youngest All Black test player in history, breaking a world record that had been held since 1905.  The winger went on to play 63 caps for the All Blacks scoring 37 tries. 

Jonah Lomu, the international face of rugby, had a massive impact on the game being dubbed “rugby union’s biggest drawcard”. Jonah drew in audiences wherever he played around the world and became rugby’s first true global superstar.

Jonah came out of the famous rugby school in South Auckland, Wesley College.

He went on to play for Counties Manukau, North Habour, Wellington, the Chiefs, the Blues, winning two Super Rugby titles with them, and the Hurricanes.  He also played abroad for Cardiff Blues and Marseille.  

Jonah was also impressive at the short form of the game and burst onto the international sevens scene in Hong Kong in 2004.  He won a Commonwealth Gold Medal representing the New Zealand Seven’s team in 1998 at the Kuala Lumpur Games.

He led New Zealand to the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, scoring four tries in the semi-final against England and was part of the bid to get rugby into the Olympics.

In 2003 at the International Rugby Players Associations’ awards, Jonah became just the third player in history to receive a Special Merit Award. The rugby legend was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in October of 2007 and featured on the famous “This is Your Life” television programme.  

He was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June of 2007.  

Jonah was a member of the Champions for Peace club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport.

In 2011 he was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.

The proud father inspired people from all over the globe with his charity work, generosity and dynamic ability on the rugby field.

In 1995 Jonah was diagnosed with the kidney disease Nephrotic Syndrome.  He received a kidney transplant from his close friend Grant Kereama in 2004. However the kidney began to fail on 2011 and he went back on dialysis three times a week. 

Despite his illness Jonah continued to support multiple charity and events all around the globe. 

The rugby icon was an Ambassador for the World Series 7's in Wellington and the Ambassador for the IRB Junior World Cup in 2014. Jonah touched the lives of many people through his countless generosity.

Jonah sadly passed away suddenly on 18 November 2015 at the age of 40, shortly after returning to New Zealand after watching his beloved All Blacks win back-to-back Rugby World Cups.

Jonah is survived by his wife Nadene and their two son’s Brayley and Dhyreille.

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