Mains: ‘Lomu changed rugby’

Date published: November 18 2015

Former All Blacks coach Laurie Mains believes Jonah Lomu's destructive running changed the way professional rugby was played.

Mains – who coached Lomu thorugh his international breakthough – was speaking following the sudden death of the New Zealand winger on Wednesday.

"By the time we got to 1995 World Cup, he was something the world just hadn't seen," said the former Highlanders coach.

"He was a remarkable man and I think he changed the way world rugby saw it's wing three-quarters and the way the game was played by outside backs.

"Back in 1995, the way he could play was a major influence in the way we decided to have the All Blacks play."

Mains also spoke of Lomu’s work off the field, where he was generous with his time.

"He always had time for anyone in the game of rugby," added the former full-back. 

"He would give assistance wherever he could in amateur rugby. He was just a lovely gentleman."