The All Blacks urged Jonah Lomu to “be strong” on Wednesday, as the legendary New Zealand winger battles a health scare in an Auckland hospital.
Lomu, who suffers from kidney problems, was admitted to Auckland Hospital’s renal unit on Friday suffering from an undisclosed illness.
The Auckland District Health Board could not be contacted for an update on Lomu’s conditions on Wednesday but local media reported he was stable.
After team training in Wellington on Wednesday, All Blacks players and New Zealand Rugby Union staff gathered to hold up letters reading “Get Well Jonah – Kia Kaha (Be Strong)”.
Hooker Keven Mealamu said he had no information about Lomu’s condition, describing the gesture as “just a nice message from the boys”.
“I think being a fellow All Black we just want him to get better,” Mealamu told reporters.
“He’s been a big part of the All Blacks in the past and is probably a big part of what it is today.
“It’s sad to see a man like that the way he is at the moment, so we’re really hoping for him to get well quickly.”
Lomu, regarded as rugby union’s first global superstar, made his Test debut for the All Blacks in 1994 at age 19 and went on to earn 63 caps, lighting up the 1995 and 1999 Rugby World Cups with his devastating displays on the wing.
He was diagnosed with the rare kidney disorder nephrotic syndrome in 1995 and the condition eventually cut short his rugby career.
He received a kidney transplant in 2004, with the donor being New Zealand radio announcer Grant Kereama.
by Buford Balony