Lomu funeral details take shape

Arrangements for a public memorial service followed by a private family funeral for Jonah Lomu are expected to be confirmed early next week.

Former All Blacks coach John Hart came to the gate of the family’s home in Epsom on Friday morning to update a large media contingent, accompanied by Lomu’s mother Hepi, his father-in-law Mervyn Quirk, former All Black Michael Jones and others.

Hart, who has been asked to be the family spokesman, said there’ll be a public memorial service a day before a family service and options for it include Eden Park in Auckland.

Hepi, who was carrying white roses, cried and it was revealed Friday is her birthday.

Hart said the family appreciated the tremendous support it had received and messages had been received from all around the world from all sort of people.

“We have agreed that there will be a public memorial service for Jonah,” he said.

It will be followed by a private family church funeral service and burial.

No decisions for the public memorial have been finalised.

The 63-Test veteran, who became a worldwide superstar, died at his home in Auckland on Wednesday, aged 40, sparking tributes locally and around the world.

The giant winger had been battling nephrotic syndrome and had been on dialysis for four years.

“We wish to thank all the people who have expressed their sympathies for our family at this incredibly difficult time,” Quirk said in an earlier statement on Friday.

“We are truly touched by the outpouring of love for Jonah and the support for our family.”

Quirk said with many people mourning Lomu, the family were discussing with various parties how best to celebrate his life and allow people to commemorate his achievements.

Auckland Council and New Zealand Rugby have said they are working with the family on an appropriate memorial.

Meanwhile, Mr Quirk’s daughter and Lomu’s third wife, Nadene, has set up a Givealittle page which she says will raise money for the couple’s children’s upbringing and education.

The family had plans to travel overseas early in 2016 to explore business opportunities which would provide for the future, which would not now happen, she said.

She said she planned to also set up a charitable trust to “continue Jonah’s work and legacy with children all around the world”.

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