Jonah Lomu: Queen sent her condolences - family spokesman

Jonah Lomu
Jonah Lomu became a global star at the 1995 World Cup

The Queen has sent her condolences to the family of the late New Zealand rugby union great Jonah Lomu, says former All Blacks coach John Hart.

Lomu, 40, died on Wednesday.

Hart said New Zealand Prime Minister John Key's office had relayed a message from the Queen to Lomu's widow Nadene.

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Rugby world pays tribute to Lomu

"She has written to the prime minister specifically asking for a message to be sent to Nadene and the family to say how much she mourns the loss as well," Hart said.

Hart, who coached New Zealand between 1996 and 1999, has been acting as a spokesman for the family of Lomu, who died at his home in Auckland.

The legendary wing, who won 63 All Blacks caps, became a global star after scoring four tries against England in the 1995 World Cup semi-final. He was diagnosed with a rare kidney condition that year.

Surrounded by the player's relatives at the family home, Hart revealed more about Lomu's death, saying he had just returned home to Auckland after "a magic time" at the Rugby World Cup in England, which was won by the All Blacks.

Following a stopover in Dubai with his family, there had been no signs of any issues with his kidney condition when they arrived home, Hart said.

"He went to bed Tuesday night and he was fine, unfortunately when they awoke mid-morning they found him dead," Hart continued.

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Hart added it was possible a public memorial could be held at Auckland's 50,000-capacity Eden Park stadium, but added that the family were still in discussions with central and local government in New Zealand about what was "most appropriate".

"I am delighted with the tremendous support we are getting from government and local government to celebrate Jonah's life," Hart added.

"We have agreed that there will be a public memorial service and that will be followed by a private family church service."

Jonah Lomu and the Queen
Jonah Lomu met the Queen at Buckingham Palace in November 2002

Listen again to BBC Radio 5 live's Jonah Lomu: The Man Who Changed Rugby

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