Jonah Lomu – The Greatest Rugby Player Ever?

Jonah Lomu was one of a kind. In fact, he could very be the best player ever to set foot on a rugby pitch! He was more than an average athlete -super powerful and lightning fast. So good was Lomu that some pundits said he was better off in the NFL.

Sure, judging by his meticulousness on the pitch, he was seemingly unstoppable. He had all the tools to handle the demands of playing in the NFL. Any NFL enthusiast will tell you to check that popular article giving a comprehensive comparison between rugby and American football to know just how well Lomu would have fitted in the NFL.

Now, back to Lomu and what makes him arguably the most celebrated rugby player of all time.

He Holds the Record for the Most Tries in the History of the Rugby World Cup

Lomu appeared in two Rugby World Cup tournaments.  He scored an incredible fifteen tries in ten matches making him the only player ever to do so. And there’s likelihood that he could have improved this feat had he not missed two pool games in the 1995 tournament. Even more intriguing is the fact that Lomu never failed to score in every World Cup game that he took part in.

He Scored a Phenomenal Hat Trick in the World Cup

The rugby fraternity will never forget Lomu’s hat-trick in the 1995 world cup when New Zealand faced off with England. Since the tournament began in 1987, all the hat tricks came in pool play, especially when a strong team was facing a weaker one. However, Lomu scored a hat trick in one semifinal game against England, one of the best teams in the world.

He Battled with Kidney Problems throughout his Career

Lomu may have been a brilliant player, but it might shock you to know that he struggled with kidney problems for years. In fact, he would have played for more years that he did was it not for the nephrotic syndrome that that cut short his career.  Some people like to equate Lomu’s career to that of Bo Jackson, an NFL sensation who lived with avascular necrosis.

The Bottom Line

Until now, no rugby player from New Zealand has stepped up to fill Lomu’s shoes. The only player who came close to achieving what Lomu did was Joe Rokocoko, but his performance fades in comparison to that one of the all-time great!