All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has passed away unexpectedly at his Epsom home in Auckland, aged 40.
The husband, father of two and international sporting great suffered a cardiac arrest on Tuesday night, shortly after returning from a family trip to Dubai.
His wife Nadene, mother of his two sons Brayley, 6, and Dhyreille, 5, posted a statement to Facebook on Wednesday afternoon.
"It is with great sadness that I must announce my dear husband Jonah Lomu died last night. As you can imagine this is a devastating loss for our family," she wrote. She has asked for privacy during this difficult time.
Lomu’s death comes as a great shock. He had reportedly been in good health, having just spent three months in the UK working as a spokesperson for Heineken during the Rugby World Cup.
“It was totally unexpected. Jonah and his family arrived back from the United Kingdom last night," former All Blacks doctor John Mayhew told media on Wednesday. He said those with chronic kidney disease were more susceptible to heart issues.
Lomu suffered from nephrotic syndrome and famously underwent a kidney transplant in 2004. He had to have another in 2011, however the second transplant was rejected and he had been on dialysis since then.
His older brother, Nehoa Lomu, first heard about his death on the radio. "What happened, happened. But we are very proud of my brother and what he did for New Zealand and also Tonga." He said their mother, Hepi, was upset "like any mother would be".
Tributes have been flowing in for the rugby superstar from around the world.
Several visitors paid their respects at the Lomu residence yesterday, including former All Blacks Michael Jones, Eroni Clarke and Ofisa Junior Tonu'u. An assembly was held at Wesley College in south Auckland for the former pupil and flags were lowered to half-mast at the NZ Rugby headquarters in Wellington.
WATCH: Jonah Lomu steamrolls England's defence during 1995 Rugby World Cup
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