“He’s a freak, and the sooner he goes away the better.”
This week’s Throwback Thursday looks back on the time a 20-year-old by the name of Jonah Lomu obliterated England and reaffirmed his position as the sport’s hottest young star.
The 1995 Rugby World Cup will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in the sport’s history. Hosted in South Africa, rugby’s feature tournament was the first of its kind to be held in the country following the end of apartheid.
Despite the obvious immeasurable magnitude of South Africa’s participation in the competition, an interesting subplot was the emergence of a young phenom from Auckland.
Jonah Lomu had recently made his New Zealand debut, and although it wasn’t a performance for the ages, a call up to the Kiwis’ World Cup Squad followed. Questions were asked of Lomu’s inclusion, the youngest man to represent the All Blacks, but he soon proved his worth, touching down twice in a win over Ireland.
Lomu however saved his biggest performance for the World Cup semi-final clash with the Red Rose.
England were a major force in world Rugby. Having lost the 1991 fianl to Australia at Twickenham. They came into the semi-final on the back of three straight pool wins and were brimming with confidence. A narrow win over Australia in the last eight reinforced their belief that they could overcome Southern Hemisphere opposition.
England had their eyes on the Webb Ellis Cup and were focused on nullifying New Zealand’s attacking threat.
But nobody could have predicted the performance young Jonah Lomu put on. England captain Will Carling scored two tries himself that day, but was outshone by the spectacular 20-year-old.
“When you have someone like Lomu, then it gives you an enormous advantage. He’s a freak, and the sooner he goes away the better.” – Will Carling.
Check out the stunning performance here: