McCaw: ‘Lomu was a legend of the game’

Date published: November 19 2015

Retiring All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has reflected on the sad passing of Jonah Lomu, describing him as a "great man and All Black".

The two legends' careers overlapped playing for their country when McCaw was just at the start of illustrious career.

"First of all, it was a big shock as well all know," McCaw told Thursday's media conference before announcing his retirement.

"My thoughts and condolences go out to his wife and two young boys and family.

"I was thinking about my experiences with Jonah. When I first became an All Black he was in the team. To play alongside a guy you have watched as a young fella was pretty amazing."

McCaw remembered the adulation surrounding Lomu before the future All Blacks captain played his first Test back in 2001 against Ireland.

"We got to a training ground and there were hundreds of people in Ireland," McCaw added.

"I climbed off the bus and the whole mob came at me and I thought, 'this is pretty cool to be an All Black'. And they kept running past and behind me was Jonah … that was the man they were after.

"That really hit home to me about the superstar he was.

"So I just wanted to take a moment to express my condolences. He was a legend of the game, I think (he was) bigger overseas than he is here in New Zealand.

"There are a lot of people around the world that will be hurting at the loss of a great man and a great All Black."