New Zealand Rugby has confirmed the death of All Blacks great Jonah Lomu at the age of 40.
Lomu died unexpectedly in the early hours of Wednesday, NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew confirmed.
“We’re all shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Jonah Lomu,” Tew said.
“We’re lost for words and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jonah’s family.
“Jonah was a legend of our game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world.”
Lomu had recently been in the United Kingdom to attend to promotional duties around the Rugby World Cup.
He quit the sport in 2002 after 73 games for the All Blacks because of Nephrotic syndrome, a rare kidney disease. He has been on dialysis treatment for more than a decade and had suffered occasional setbacks to his health.
Lomu scored 37 tries in 63 Tests and is regarded as one of New Zealand’s greatest wingers.
His spectacular performances at the 1995 Rugby World Cup made him one of the sport’s most recognisable global figures.