Jonah Lomu: ‘Nothing’s impossible’

Former All Blacks winger Jonah Lomu is involved in a new adidas marketing campaign entitled, ‘Impossible is Nothing’ – a promotion that might well have been set up by his sponsors specifically with their star client in mind.

For someone that last played a Test match at the end of 2002, Lomu remains an instantly-recognisable sportsman and a man with one helluva story to tell.

“The campaign is all about athletes telling their story about finding themselves at a cross-road and having to make a decision,” said Lomu to this website. “Mine was about my transplant… and whether I could play again… ”

Having battled a rare kidney disorder for some time, but yet still producing some freakish performances – most notably at the 1995 and 1999 World Cups, blockbusting winger Lomu found himself battling to save more than his rugby career in 2003, after being put on dialysis three times a week, before being forced to undergo a kidney transplant the following year.

Whilst lesser beings would have forgotten about a possible return to rugby, Auckland-born Lomu has had just one thing on his mind since undergoing that kidney transplant in July 2004.

“I won’t forget the day the doctors told me I could never play again,” he remembered. “[But] It’s been a long process for me… At one stage I wasn’t strong enough to walk, I mean, I’m not meant to be playing.”

Lomu made his return to rugby in June 2005, in a North v South invitational match at Twickenham, before signing a contract with North Harbour in the NPC and then enjoying a stint with Cardiff Blues in Wales. He eventually made his NPC return last year, but this season missed out on a Super 14 place, effectively ruling him out of contention for the All Blacks’ World Cup squad.

“Getting a new contract or playing anywhere are the furtherest things from my mind at the moment,” admitted Lomu, the leading try-scorer in RWC history. “My wife looks after my contracts, I’ll leave that to her; I just want to get fit again and get my body right for the rigours of top-level rugby.”

Of course, with Lomu having achieved all that he has since his Test debut back in 1994, some have questioned just why he would risk his health, and long-term future, to possibly make a return to the game.

The 63-Test veteran, however, has a simple explanation: “I just love the game so, so much, it’s what I love doing. People often ask me what I miss the most about rugby… For me it’s the actual playing, being out there and having lumps knocked out of me!”

He added: “I’ve been very lucky to have seen and experienced; for example, who would’ve guessed that a youngster from south Auckland would’ve gone to South Africa in 1995 to play in the World Cup and the World Cup Final at that. I’ve met so many people, travelled across the world and experienced so many different cultures. I’ve been very fortunate indeed; it’s been quite a ride.”

Travels and friendships aside, the 31-year-old star also considers himself very privileged to have been an All Black – something that he will cherish forever.

“Once you’ve been an All Black you’re always an All Black,” he declared.

“Although I’m not part of the team at the moment, I’m in touch with plenty of the boys and I still kind of feel part of it.”

As a senior All Black, Lomu, too, realises the need to put something back into the game one day, although he is not sure at what level.

“I’m not sure if I could ever become a coach or something like that,” he said, “but I’d like to think I’ve passed out some knowledge and experience to some of the younger guys I’ve played with over the years, as you do when you play.

“You can always learn something new in this game, even a so-called ‘old hand’ like me, but this game just keeps on evolving. Look at the new scrum laws, now, for instance; it even things out quite a bit. It might be a bit messy at the moment, especially wi

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