Andrew recalls Lomu brilliance


Rob Andrew has hailed the lasting impression left by Jonah Lomu after the former New Zealand international died at the age of 40.

The legendary All Black, whose illustrious playing career had been cut short by a rare kidney syndrome, died suddenly in Auckland on Wednesday.

Andrew was part of the England side on the receiving end of Lomu's most iconic performance, when the powerhouse wing ran in four tries - including a stunning score that saw opposing full-back Mike Catt flattened - to help New Zealand into the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.

"He leaves memories of one of the greatest players that has ever played the game," Andrew told Omnisport.

"Some of the most iconic moments are of him on a rugby field running past people, over people, through people, around people, scoring tries.

"Those memories will never fade because he's one of the greatest that we've ever had and he scored some of the greatest tries and single-handedly changed lots of massive games in our sport."

The image of Lomu skirting around a diving Andrew to run in his second try in the 1995 semi-final is among the most famous in international rugby.

"That's a great photograph," added the ex-England fly-half. "I've got a copy of it signed by the great man.

"We joked about it afterwards on many occasions. I was just delighted that he didn't run over me like he did Mike Catt.

"We look back on it and he just completely devastated us in the first 25 minutes. We just never got to grips with him in any shape or form.

"It was just one of those extraordinary individual performances, which is quite hard in a team game like rugby, for one person to dominate the game so much. That's what he did.

"He was [emerging] at a time when the game was going professional, so it was in a period of change anyway and he catapulted that change forward.

"He was probably the face and the name of the game and the change to professionalism, one of the biggest names ever in the game.

"Our thoughts are with his family. Fundamentally you remember him as just a great person, who gave so much to so many people, as is being proved by everybody's feelings at this moment in time."