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Lomu’s comeback still growing


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Jonah Lomu has still not given up hope of a return to competitive rugby, even if he acknowledges that a return to the All Black shirt is a ‘dream’ in reality.

Lomu gave a full and frank interview to the Sun-Herald paper in Australia about his fitness regime and about the decision on his next career move – be that in rugby league or rugby union.

Whatever his next move may be, he is certainly getting stronger. He recently squatted a blood-vessel-popping 375 kilograms in the gym for eight reps – a far cry from what he used to do when playing.

“When I was playing it was in the 200s,” he said bullishly.

“I’m finding new limits. The old limits are starting to get shifted.

“I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m going to build on that and push it as far as I can. I’ve gone back to the trainer I used in the ’99 World Cup. To me, he’s the man.

“We’re putting the body in the best position to perform. The body is starting to feel the way it should be.

“As much as I tried to play [in the National Provincial Championships in New Zealand] last year, that wasn’t a true indication of where I’m at now … If I went out tomorrow, I’d be very confident of playing well.”

But well enough to get back into an All Black shirt?

“You never know,” he said.

“It’s one of those things, there’s always the person who is doom and gloom about these things, but I’ve always dreamed from day one and always will.

“It’s irrelevant what everyone else thinks. I’ve always been a dreamer and I will be until I die. I’m one of those that believes if you have a dream, follow it.”

Lomu is adamant he still has much to offer rugby, pointing to other athletes who tasted success late in their careers.

“Just look at Linford Christie and all those boys in the 100 metres, or Frank Bunce, who didn’t get his first Test cap till he was 29,” he says.

“There’s one thing you can’t buy or get overnight and that’s experience.”

One thing is for sure, Lomu is not short of offers. He has received offers from local teams, from the UK and France, and also from rugby league, where he was close to signing for the Gold Coast Titans last year.

“It comes down to sitting down with my wife and ticking off boxes and agreeing on a lot of things,” he said about his next career move.

“The one that matches us the most, it’s a foregone conclusion, we’ll go there. We won’t be making any decisions about playing until the World Cup finishes because it would be too much of a rushed decision.”

“The Titans are a very professional franchise and were very professional about it. A lot of rugby people would wonder why I would do that, why would I want to go to rugby league.

“But what they need to know is that when I was growing up I always thought I’d play for the Kiwis.

“I come from a rugby league background and that has always been an interest of mine … It was something I was interested in purely because of that factor.”

And for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup, Lomu spies a dark horse emerging from the shadows as the kick-off on September approaches.

“The Wallabies will go well. They’re showing their wares with what’s happening with the team,” he said.

“It just proves that world ranking doesn’t mean anything on the day. The people who have written off players such as George Gregan are seeing the value of 130-odd Tests of experience.

“A lot of those guys know that it’s their last season in the Wallabies jersey. They know it’s their last chance to play in a World Cup.

“They’re laying everything out on the line – it’s great to see. When rugby players know it’s their last opportunity, a last hurrah, they will throw everything into it.

“When you have that much firepower in the backs, you definitely want to win the ball and steal some ball off the opposition,” he continued, turning his attention briefly to

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