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All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu to sign with Marseille

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-28

All Blacks rugby legend Jonah Lomu is set to sign for French third division side Marseille Vitrolles, the club has announced on its Web site. Lomu exploded onto the international stage at the 1995 World Cup and went on to become a global superstar.

AFP - All Blacks rugby legend Jonah Lomu is set to sign for French third division side Marseille Vitrolles, the club announced on its website.

"Marseille Vitrolles is on the point of finalising the transfer of the greatest legend in world rugby," a club statement said.

"Lomu in Marseille, it is the promise of a great story of human interest that only rugby can produce and an exciting challenge for an exceptional player who has just one thing on his mind - to help his new club expand," it added.

The 34-year-old Lomu exploded onto the international stage at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa and he went on to become a global superstar in the sport as it moved into the professional era.

But after winning 63 caps for his country his top-flight career was cut short by a kidney illness that eventually required a transplant in July 2004.

Subsequently he played for Welsh side Cardiff in 2005/2006 but without any great success after which he returned home to play for North Harbour.

The Marseille Vitrolles website quoted Lomu as saying: "I took a sabbatical year to be at my pregnant partner's side and to fully enjoy this important moment in any man's life.

"Everyone thought I had ended my playing career, but that was wrong. I still feel the desire to play and it will be me alone who decides when to call it a day.

"Marseille is the second biggest city in France and it deserves to have a top rugby side. The club now has the means to meet its ambitions and promotion to the second division is the priority for this year.

"My ambition is to help a club like Marseille join the group of top clubs in France."

 

Date created : 2009-06-28