The rugby and broader sporting community is mourning the tragic loss of Jonah Lomu who passed away on Tuesday evening (New Zealand time), surrounded by family at age 40.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said: "We're all shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Jonah Lomu. 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."

SANZAR's interim chief executive, Brendan Morris, added: "Not only was Jonah Lomu a legend of our game, he was one of those rare superstar players that transcended rugby. He quickly became a household name around the world with his power and skill, inspiring a generation of athletes.

"While we mourn the tragic loss of Jonah, we should also take time to remember and celebrate his wonderful career and achievements. Lomu will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest players the game has seen. 

"Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the Lomu family and New Zealand Rugby as another legend is taken far too soon. Rest in peace."

Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee said there was no other individual who had made an impact on world rugby quite like Jonah Lomu.

“He was an extraordinary individual who will be sorely missed by millions of fans around the globe. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jonah’s family, especially Nadene and their children.”

Wellington Rugby chief executive Steve Rogers said the union expressed its greatest sympathy to the family of Jonah during this time.

“Jonah was an incredibly special part of rugby in our province, and will forever be remembered for his outstanding pace and skill, his strength as a player and person, and his kind and genuine nature both on and off the field.

“The combination he formed with Tana (Umaga) and Cully (Christan Cullen) back in the early 2000s is a partnership that will forever be written in Wellington Rugby folklore. It’s something rugby fans not only in Wellington, but around the world, will remember forever.”

​In addition to representing the 'Canes, Lomu played 22 games for the Blues from 1996 to 1998, including the first two Super Rugby championships.

New Blues head coach Tana Umaga, who played alongside Lomu at the All Blacks and the Hurricanes, said the news was a huge blow.

"Right now I am deeply upset and saddened by this news," he said.

"My heartfelt thoughts are with his wife and children at this very sad time. It’s not the right time to talk about his career, but rather to offer my condolences to his family at this very sad time.”

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said: “I speak on behalf of the entire Australian Rugby community in expressing our deep sadness today after the passing of one of our game’s greatest ever players."

“There will never be another Jonah Lomu. He was rugby’s first genuine superstar and as well as being an extraordinary rugby player he was also an exceptional man who gave everything to the game and his community in Auckland.

“His long battle with health has been well documented and his legend grew even greater as he continued to inspire us all with his fight for life against a rare and crippling disease.

“The ARU wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the Lomu family, as well as the New Zealand Rugby Union and the many other people in our game who were fortunate to have known the great man.

“Jonah’s legacy will live forever in our game, and indeed all over the world.”

South African Rugby Union President Mr Oregan Hoskins added: “We woke up to the news of Jonah’s sudden passing this morning and I speak for the whole South African rugby community when I say we are deeply, deeply shocked and moved by this news,”  

“Jonah was a simply unbelievable player but, as much as he was a mighty All Black, he had a special place in South African hearts because of the connection we made in 1995.
 
“He was a credit to his country and a world ambassador for the game, loved as much for his humility and generosity of spirit as his playing. His passing leaves a hole in all our rugby lives.
 
“I would like to pass on the condolences of the South African rugby community to the entire New Zealand rugby community but most particularly to Jonah’s family and closest friends.”

Tributes have been pouring in from players, coaches and fans throughout the world as rugby comes to terms with the fact it has lost one of the most inspiring players to ever play the game.

 

A sad day for rugby as we mourn and celebrate the life of one of the greatest to ever play our game. Rest in peace.

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We're all #11 today.

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We will never forget. You inspired a generation. #jonahlomu #legend

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#Repost @canterburynz ・・・ Our sport has lost a true icon, heartbreaking day for the rugby world... #RIPJonahLomu #Legend

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RIP Jonah Lomu. An inspiration and role model to many like myself growing up. #RIP

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The man who changed the game and my biggest childhood hero. #RIP

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