13 Jul 2011

Sport: Lomu urges Pacific countries to embrace Rugby World Cup

11:15 am on 13 July 2011

The former All Black Jonah Lomu is urging Pacific countries to embrace this year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

The 36 year old, who is a global ambassador for the tournament, is holding children's rugby clinics in Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands this week as part of the New Zealand Foreign Minister's four-nation Polynesian tour.

Mr Lomu, who was born in Auckland but raised in Tonga, says far from being solely a New Zealand event, the Rugby World Cup is a phenomenal opportunity for the nations of the Pacific.

"So they've got to optimise it by whether it fits in through their business, through getting contacts and so forth to be able to grow businesses, tourism, you name it, it's these sort of things that will help grow the economies for the South Pacific and making long-lasting bonds. This is the gateway to the rest of the world."

Jonah Lomu is encouraging Pacific people to renew bonds with family and friends in New Zealand while participating in what he's calling the largest party in the world.