Widely regarded as the greatest Rugby player to set foot on a pitch, New Zealand’s Jonah Lomu died in Auckland aged 40. The news comes weeks after the All Blacks won their third World Cup. Health problems had forced Lomu into early retirement and had been suffering from kidney problems and underwent a transplant in 2004. He had been on dialysis since.Also Read - New Zealand Launches Three Mobile Vaccine Buses to Boost Vaccination Drive

John Mayhew, the former All Blacks doctor, confirmed the news on Wednesday morning. “On behalf of the Lomu family, I can confirm that Jonah Lomu died this morning, most probably about 8 or 9” Mayhew said. “ The Guardian  was quoted. “The family have requested privacy at this stage, they are obviously going through a terrible time. It was totally unexpected. Jonah and his family arrived back from the United Kingdom last night and he suddenly died this morning.” Also Read - Breaking: India Makes RT-PCR Test Must For Passengers From 7 More Countries Amid New Strain Fear

Lomu played 67 Tests and scored 37 tries. The 1995 World Cup in South Africa, which was a watershed moment for the then teenager, went on to create ripples in the Rugby circuit. Lomu completed 15 tries in the tournament, which was a record till the Springbok’s Bryan Habana equalled it in the 2015 World Cup. The manner in which he bulldozed past the English defenders to the try line is a part of Rugby World Cup folklore. Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown: State Makes RT-PCR Test Must For International Travellers From These Countries | Full List Here

Lomu was instrumental in inspiring a new generation of All Blacks legends in Dan Carter, Sony Bill Williams, World Cup winning skipper Richie McCaw and Julian Savea, who is pencilled as his successor.  Lomu however, could never get his hands on the Webb Ellis Cup. However, he took his country to a gold medal finish in the 1998 Commonwealth games and was a two-time Super Rugby winner. The winger is survived by his sons and was living with his third wife.