Jonah Lomu, one of the greatest rugby players in the history of the game, has died suddenly in Auckland at the age of 40, the New Zealand Herald reports.
The Tonga-born, New Zealand–raised sporting icon suffered from nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder that causes water to be drawn into soft tissue, and had struggled with his health since receiving a kidney transplant in 2004. Seven years later, his body began to reject the replacement organ, the Herald said, forcing him to under go daily dialysis treatment for hours at a time.
Lomu represented New Zealand on the rugby field 73 times before quitting the sport because of his condition in 2002. He was famed as a lethally fast attacking player, combining brute strength, speed and agility in a way that has been rarely equaled in any sport, let alone rugby.
He was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2011. He is survived by his wife Nadene and children Brayley, 6, and Dhyreille, 5.
- TIME's Top 100 Photos of 2021
- Inside Frances Haugen's Decision to Take on Facebook
- Why We Should Stop Freaking Out About Inflation
- Austria's Plan to Make COVID-19 Vaccines Compulsory Is Dividing Citizens — and Experts
- Inside the 80-Year Quest to Name Pearl Harbor's Unknown Victims
- Buying a House Feels Impossible These Days. Here Are 6 Innovative Paths to Homeownership
- 'They're Very Close.' U.S. General Says Iran Is Nearly Able to Build a Nuclear Weapon
- A Charter School's Racial Controversy Reveals the Real Battle For America's Classrooms