20 Nov 2015

Public memorial service for Jonah Lomu

1:38 pm on 20 November 2015

Jonah Lomu's family have confirmed that a public memorial service will be held for the rugby superstar, although details have yet to be revealed.

Lomu died suddenly this week, aged 40, after a holiday in Dubai.

Former All Black coach John Hart spoke on behalf of the Lomu family outside the All Black great's home at a media conference this morning, with Lomu's mother Hepi, rugby legend Michael Jones and other family members also appearing.

Hart confirmed there would be a public service, followed by a private funeral at the family's church.

Jonah Lomu in 2003.

Jonah Lomu died suddenly earlier this week Photo: PHOTOSPORT

He said details of the venue and time should be announced in the next 48 hours, with discussions being held between family, rugby officials and the government over the details.

It will not be a state funeral, Hart said, but it will be a "substantial" event.

He did confirm that Eden Park was one of the venues being discussed.

"This gathering could be the biggest we've had for any such occasion in New Zealand."

He said the public memorial service would be a celebration of Lomu's life.

Queen Elizabeth II had passed on her personal condolences to the Lomu family through Prime Minister John Key, Hart said.

Hart also gave more details about the circumstances of Lomu's death. He said Lomu appeared to be in good health but died overnight on Tuesday and was found in his bed in the morning. Hart said that it appeared likely he died of a cardiac arrest.

Jonah Lomu's mother Hepi.

Lomu's mother Hepi at the media conference Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

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