Dai Young saw off a whole host of English Premiership clubs to land the famous All Black ahead of their Heineken Cup campaign. And even though the 30-year-old powerhouse winger has been besieged by injury and illness since starring in the 1999 Rugby World Cup, Lomu's arrival in South Wales has still sent shockwaves through the Northern Hemisphere.
Lomu had been playing for New Zealand NPC side North Harbour but has signed a short-term deal with the Blues as he looks to regain full fitness and his All Black place. He will take up his place alongside Wales internationals Jamie Robinson, Mike Phillips, Tom Shanklin and Rhys Williams in the Blues backline from next month and will be available for the remainder of their European, Celtic and Anglo-Welsh challenges.
"I look forward to joining the Blues and getting back on the rugby field. It's a really exciting time to be involved in Welsh rugby," he said. "They are enjoying a real resurgence in the world game and as a country it shares the same passion and love for the sport that New Zealand does. I have always felt such great warmth from the Welsh."
Lomu, a towering 6ft 5in tall, burst onto the scene in 1994 in the Hong Kong Sevens tournament before winning his full cap at the tender age of 19 against France and in doing so became the youngest ever All Blacks Test player. Weighing in at 19st but able to cover 100m in 10.8 seconds, Lomu was named the player of the tournament as he set the 1995 Rugby World Cup alight and his performances - including a memorable four try display against England in the semi-finals - elevated him to superstar status.
The following year Lomu was diagnosed with a serious kidney illness but, despite being forced to take a year out, he was back in the All Blacks No. 11 shirt in 1997, won a Sevens gold in the 1998 Commonwealth Games and helped New Zealand to the World Cup semi-finals in Wales in 1999.
By 2003 his health had deteriorated and his rare condition (Nephrotic Syndrome) forced him to undergo dialysis and just fifteen months ago had a live-saving kidney transplant. But the ordeal was not enough to keep the big man down and after ten years fighting the disease Lomu is back and is desperate to add to his incredible tally of 37 tries in 63 All Blacks appearances by making his mark with the Blues.
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