Fri, Nov 03, 2006 - Page 23 News List

All Blacks legend Lomu says quitting is not yet an option

AP , DOHA

All Blacks great Jonah Lomu says he has no plans to quit playing rugby, saying he still has full devotion and passion for the game.

Lomu, who was in Doha for a fundraiser organized by Standard Chartered Bank, recently acknowledged his hope of coming back from a kidney transplant to play for New Zealand in next year's World Cup ended when he didn't earn a Super 14 contract for next year.

However, the 31-year-old winger said he wasn't about to retire.

"Right now my aim is to play rugby. That is all I want to do. I have no plans to hang my boots just yet," he told a school gathering on Wednesday.

"I can't say what I will do when I eventually retire. I may go into coaching, but I am not sure. But even in retirement, I would like to stay in touch with the sport that I love so much," he said.

Lomu said his never-say-die spirit helped him overcome the paralyzing effects of a rare kidney ailment, for which he eventually needed a transplant in 2004. The illness ended his 73-match All Blacks career in 2002, but he remarkably returned to the field last year.

"Nothing was ever going to keep me away from playing rugby," Lomu said. "When my physicians told me that I may have to use a wheelchair because of my condition, I refused to accept that. I was just not ready to give up something I loved so much. So, I dared to dream."

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