Following the sad news that All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has died at the age of 40, testimonials and tributes have flooded news channels and social media platforms from around the world.
John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister: "Deeply saddened to hear of Jonah Lomu's unexpected passing this morning. The thoughts of the entire country are with his family."
Steve Tew, New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive: “We're all shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Jonah. 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.”
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset: “Even after hanging up his boots, Jonah continued to promote and support the sport that he loved with as much passion, vigour and dedication as he channelled into playing. He gave his full support and considerable time to rugby’s Olympic Games campaign, presenting an impressive argument at the decisive IOC Session in Copenhagen in 2009 and of course he played such a massive part in supporting and promoting Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.
SANZAR Interim chief executive, Brendan Morris: "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."
Just before RWC Final with the great man. Rest easy Legend. Gentle off the field, awesome & unstoppable on it pic.twitter.com/l9VX57rvuV— Will Carling (@willcarling) November 18, 2015
Tonga Sports Minister Fe'ao Vakata: "People here in Tonga have named their children after Jonah Lomu and everybody has been saying they are related to Jonah Lomu. That's how much we are proud and appreciated what he had given Tonga and New Zealand and world rugby."
England fly-half Danny Cipriani tweeted: "Jonah Lomu and Christian Cullen are the reason I picked up a rugby ball - JL was a legend and a true inspiration who kept fighting."
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver: "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."
RFU President Jason Leonard: “It was with huge sadness that we at the Rugby Football Union learned of the death of New Zealand rugby legend Jonah Lomu. Jonah was famous the world over, not just for his 37 international tries but for inspiring a generation. To have him in England for Rugby World Cup 2015 was a privilege. He was much loved and will be missed by rugby fans everywhere. Our thoughts are with his wife Nadene, his two sons, family and friends.”
I am so, so devastated to hear of the passing away of @JONAHTALILOMU The greatest superstar and just a fabulous human being. Deeply saddened— Jonny Wilkinson (@JonnyWilkinson) November 18, 2015
Gareth Davies: "It is with great sadness that the people of Wales and the wider rugby world mourn the sad loss of Jonah Lomu. He was a great player and a humble and courteous human being who remained a wonderful ambassador for our sport throughout his life. He will be remembered primarily as a legendary All Black but his links with Wales included a period as a Cardiff Blue and he enjoyed many visits here through which he maintained strong friendships at all levels of the game.
Oregan Hoskins, South African Rugby Union president: “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."
Sir Graham Henry on Jonah Lomu: "It is just so sad, I saw him at the World Cup and he looked so well. It's just a hell of a shock." #RIPLomu— nzherald (@nzherald) November 18, 2015
Sir Clive Woodward, former England coach: "He is one of the all-time greats and he didn't just put rugby back on the map, he took it to a whole new level. The 1995 World Cup, he dominated that World Cup with his sheer athleticism, his sheer presence and he - with a couple of other players - took the game into the professional era because people realised these guys were amazing players, amazing athletes and the game could go professional. 1995 was his tournament. Unfortunately, he was on the losing side in the final. But he was an amazing player, athlete, bloke and took the game into the professional era, which we are all grateful for."
Sean Fitzpatrick, former All Blacks captain tweeted: "Our thoughts are with the @JONAHTALILOMU family tonight. A very special person."
All Blacks RWC 2015 winner Sonny Bill Williams tweeted: "Shocked, thoughts are with the Lomu family right now."
Former All Blacks star and current Blues coach Tana Umaga: "He was a very generous man. Generous with his time, what he had, with advice. His background, what he's achieved and done for world rugby is huge. Single-handedly he put rugby back on the map. We've got to make sure that we understand and respect that."
Joint top Rugby World Cup try scorer and Springboks star Bryan Habana tweeted: "I am so, so devastated to hear of the passing away of @JONAHTALILOMU The greatest superstar and just a fabulous human being. Deeply saddened."