Jonah Lomu Returns to Rugby

Jonah Lomu Returns to Rugby

Former All Black winger Jonah Lomu has made his comeback two years after retiring because of a kidney problem.

The 34-year-old Lomu made a low-key return in Marseille’s 63-18 win over Montmelian in front of 2,500 fans in a French third division match.

“This was my first match, I was not expecting a miracle,” said Lomu, who touched the ball for the first time after 20 minutes.

Capped 63 times by the All Blacks, his career was cut short by a transplant.

Following the kidney transplant in 2004, Lomu played for Welsh side Cardiff in 2005-06 but without any great success and he returned home to play for North Harbour before retiring in 2007.

On Sunday, as well as adjusting to life back on the rugby pitch with the French semi-professional side, Lomu had to deal with some linguistic difficulties.

“It was a little difficult to understand my team-mates who were talking very fast in French,” said Lomu.

Marseille president Claude Atcher attributed Lomu’s quiet performance to nerves in a game that was shown live on cable television.

“Jonah is very tense, much more so than he normally is,” said Atcher.

“This is more than a rugby match, it is more about sickness and life. This is much more than just about rugby.”

Lomu, who burst into the limelight at the 1995 World Cup, signed a two-year contract for Marseille earlier this year.