Topic: Jonah Lomu

Wesley College students honour Jonah Lomu

As tributes for rugby legend Jonah Lomu continue to flow, students at his former school, Wesley College in Auckland performed a thrilling haka for the man who influenced the rugby world.

The school held a special assembly yesterday and finished it with a haka which has now gone viral online.

The rugby great passed away unexpectedly yesterday at his Epsom home in Auckland, aged 40.

Lomu attended Wesley College in the late 80s and early 90s and it is there where his rugby career kicked off.

At fourth form, he made the Wesley College first XV rugby team. Back then and still to this day, he is the youngest first XV member to play for the college squad.

In the documentary Anger Within, based on Jonah Lomu's life, he says that Wesley College saved him. Despite 'hating' the school at first, he began to feel a 'sense of belonging' as the years progressed.

Lomu wasn't just known for his outstanding rugby skills whilst at school, he also excelled on the athletics field.

As heard on the documentary that played out on Māori Television last night, Wesley College teacher Warrick Sanson spoke of a poignant moment during one of  Lomu's first athletics day. He says, "He (Lomu) was noticeable because he was winning all his races, and was a stand out athlete."

Richard Smythe, who was time keeper at the time adds " I would stand at the hundred meter finish line ready to take the stop watch and there is nothing scarier than seeing this monster of a boy hurling himself at you."

His talent and skill became more and more evident throughout this time, and as Jonah's former manager, Phil Kingsley Jones says on Anger Within, "A blind man could have spotted Jonah Lomu's talent, there's no cleverness in that."

Family and friends gathered at Lomu's Auckland home yesterday to pay their respects and social media continues to be inundated with messages of love and support for Lomu and his family.

Plans for his funeral have not yet been confirmed.