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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jonah Lomu comeback for Marseilles-Vitrolles

Jonah Lomu comeback for Marseilles-Vitrolles

Jonah Lomu made his much anticipated return to rugby on the weekend as he turned out for his new club Marseilles-Vitrolles in the French Third Division.

Lomu, now 34, has battled with illness an injury for many seasons now, was the major drawcard as 2500 people and over 100 media personal flocked to the ground to watch Lomu's new team thrash Montmelian 64-13.

Jonah didn't do much in the match, and apparently looked nervous and unsure of himself. He was playing at centre, and said he actually struggled with the language, which hindered his play.

"It was a little difficult to understand my team-mates who were talking very fast in French," said Lomu. "I asked them to speak a little less quickly. I have to gain in confidence, and to communicate better with them. I did feel a bit lost on the pitch at times."

Lomu enjoyed the occasion nevertheless. "This was the first match, I was not expecting a miracle. My welcome was extraordinary, as much from the public as from my team-mates," he said.

Lomu's new home in Marseilles is just a few minutes from the hotel the New Zealand team are staying at ahead of their meeting with France. Former Wellington teamate Ma'a Nonu says they're eagerly anticipating a visit from the legendary All Black.

"He's still got that respect. The boys hold him in high regard. He's always going to be a legend in every kid's eyes. It will be good to have him around," Nonu said.

"Jonah's one of those big fellas that looks after the young guys. He used to live in Maupuia, the big orange house on the hill. That was Jonah's castle.

"I just lived down the road in Miramar and he used to pick me up for training. I was pretty lucky ... He had a few nice cars too.

"He's a generous guy, a big giant that's always friendly. Everyone loves him," Nonu said.

We had requests for footage of Jonah's return, so here it is. It doesn't feature much action from him at all, as he had a pretty quiet match, but it does show the hype that surrounds everywhere he goes. There's also a pretty decent hand off. French speakers, this ones for you.


:: Related Posts ::
Jonah Lomu finds success with bodybuilding
Time: 02:00
Note: Thanks for france3.fr

Posted at 11:06 pm | 76 comments

Viewing 76 comments

Dave November 25, 2009 11:42 pm

Legen-dary handoff.

Good to see him with less oil and a more natural colour on this RD appearance..

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Dezel November 26, 2009 12:01 am

What a man... Jonah convinced me to play rugby.. He and Jonny Wilkinson

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Vic November 26, 2009 12:14 am

Shit, you heard the latest news?

Jonah and Nonu are in hospital....apparently the doctors have to perform an emergency operation to remove Nonu's tongue from Jonah's ass!

(not that i dont think lomu is a legend!...just nonu is a prick!)

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Bottom November 26, 2009 1:20 am

That fend brings back some memory's.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 2:02 am

It just hows you how quickly time passes and how quickly sporting atheleticism disappears. It's sems like only yesterday that I watched Lomy explode onto the scene in the 1995 Wordl cup! Happy days. Hard to believe it has been 14 years.

Jonah always seemed like a good guy and a humble guy.

It's hard to believe that there will ever be a back again that dominated the game like Lomu. Shame he had the kidney problem.

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Gman November 26, 2009 3:39 am

Vic, that was really funny. Nonu is an idiot.

Hey, I used to play against Marseille when I was still in France. Imagine that, I could have played Lomu! The guy at the other hand of the handoff could have been me...

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jake November 26, 2009 4:13 am

Whats wrong with Nonu paying a little respect to the big fella?

Vic.... let me guess, irish? Still a bit upset about your recent record against nonu? ;-)

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B November 26, 2009 4:15 am

Vic, you sound like a snitch.

Would you rather Nonu pay Jonah out insted?

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Phil November 26, 2009 6:18 am

Lame comment Vic

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UK_John November 26, 2009 7:07 am

Um, RD, please don't post non-english videos here. It was rather frustrating not understanding Jonah Lomu. Thanks.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 7:40 am

Lots of respect for the guy who wouldn't let his health set back stop him from playing the game he loves.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 8:24 am

I would also like to hear only english here on RD, so could you please ask the AB, Fiji and Samoa to do their Haka in English? It's just so frustrating!

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 8:28 am

You could ask them to stop doing it altogether, that'd be even better. It's almost 2010, there's no need for primitive war dances, especially on a rugby field.

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Scotsdale November 26, 2009 8:44 am

Great to see this, thanks.

And yeah, I didn't understand the french either, but who cares? I'm sure if there was english available, it would have been shown..

lol @ gman's comment

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theboss November 26, 2009 9:06 am

I'm sure the french visitors to the site appreciate the video, as do I, a non-french speaker! Thanks RD.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 10:02 am

To lose the "primitive war dances" would be a great loss to rugby and its fans. Players dream of facing/preforming those traditions. I've never heard of true rugby fans complain before either. You would be an idiot to wish to see them gone from the game!

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UK_John November 26, 2009 10:59 am

English is the universal language, children.

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RD November 26, 2009 11:04 am

UK_John, if the footage was available in English, I would have used it ahead of French, yes.

I'd rather show some footage than no footage though.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 11:06 am

^^ That's why i speak english a bit. But english is not the unique language on earth, wether you like it or not, kid.

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Rich November 26, 2009 11:14 am

Go back to browsing the BNP website UK_John. Maybe your just a little insecure about not paying attention in french lessons at school. Plenty of french speakers use this site, its not just for you. Last time I checked it was the WORLD wide web.

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roscoe11 November 26, 2009 11:18 am

UK_John is a moron. BNP supporter perhaps?

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roscoe11 November 26, 2009 11:20 am

apologies rick, i see you already raised that point! haha. great site RD, keep up the good work regardless of the language.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 12:10 pm

What's the "English" you speak of, Johnny? Surely you meant "American"?

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Phil November 26, 2009 12:15 pm

I consider myself and find the haka irritating. I don't especially object to the spectacle itself, it's just the way that the opposition are told how to respond. I think oppositions should be free to ignore it and warm up, front up like the Irish have done, stand their ground like the Welsh, or pretty much anything else. But when they do react in these ways people start banging on about 'disrespecting the haka'. It irks me. Maybe the England team should force their opponents to watch them dancing round a maypole in future internationals?

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Phil November 26, 2009 12:16 pm

Meant to write, 'I consider myself a true rugby fan' on last post.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 12:22 pm

What a guy.

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Disco November 26, 2009 12:25 pm

Translation for UK_John:

Reporter : A swarm of reporters descended upon the Stade Jules Ladoumeque in Vitrolles for Jonah Lomu's first start with his new team (Marseille). The match was broadcast live on Eurosport, it was more like an American sports event with photographers everywhere and even reporters sent over from New Zealand; all this in an effort to knock the dust off the Federal 1 championship (equivalent to 3rd Division). As far as the match was concerned, Jonah Lomu saw very little action, getting his hands on the ball four times in total in the first half including this one 30 minutes into the game (see RD vid @ 0:27) against resistant defence. He also set up a ruck and two attacks at close quarters. Fortunately there's such a huge difference in level between Marseille and the Savoyards from Montmlian; the Marseillais leading 39-9 by half time with some very nice tries in front of a public somewhat disappointed by the show.

Interviewee 1 : "we're well ahead in terms of the score but regarding Lomu's return, it hasn't been particularly impressive in that he's only touched the ball a couple of times so that's not great"

Interviewee 2 : "well we came to see him (Lomu) so it's not exactly... you know... ah well"

Interviewee 3 : "maybe he wasn't quite aware of the level of play here, although we might be some way off the Top 14 it remains physical and there's pace out there, he hasn't played for a while so it's tough".

Interviewee 4 : "we have to give him 2 or 3 months and I think he's going to do us proud".

The second half was about going through the motions, Marseille Vitrolles is a powerhouse in this division and the Savoyards saw their nightmare come to a close with a score of 63-18 having conceded 10 tries. Regarding Jonah Lomu, he's satisfied with his low-key return:

Jonah : "It was made easy, the 14 other guys were fantastic right from the start, we played exactly as we'd planned to play and I didn't have to do a great deal, we scored some really nice tries, and to be honest I really enjoyed playing alongside a fly-half like Julien Vulakoro (n.b. a Fijian), he makes things very easy."

Reporter : Although beating the team at the bottom of the table might not be particularly significant in rugby terms, the media frenzy was huge, however judgment is reserved for the time being on Jonah's impact on the rugby scene in Marseille.

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UK_John November 26, 2009 12:32 pm

Thanks for that, Disco.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 12:33 pm

UK_John sounds like some sort of BNP nut!

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RD November 26, 2009 12:35 pm

Thanks Disco. Now everyone's happy.
Cheques in the mail. ;)

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 12:37 pm

As a french I enjoy some french speaking footage and just for your information, heaps of french people are on RD. Anyway, the comments were actually not very nice to Jonah as he touched a mere 4 balls during the game and showed a lack of pace. One guy said that even if that is only the third division, there are pretty tough hits and that jonah should get fitted to be able to make any difference on the field. He claim a few weeks ago that he could run under 11s, I doubt it! Furthermore, Marseille hired some really good players, all of them playing in Top 14 or Pro D2 last year(Vulakoro, Jager, Maka etc). The final score was 68-15. JL said he was happy that the 14 other players in the team played well so he had no need to make to much effort.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 12:38 pm

Thanks disco better and quicker than mine!!

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felix November 26, 2009 12:57 pm

UK_John mate what a stupid comment. there are loads of french people on RD - pull your head out of your backside. Well done RD for finding this video in the first place?!
Great effort also from Disco for the translation - good collaboration boys.

Btw - as an all black supporter, i love the haka but i NEVER get upset about how the opposition react - I loved the welsh reaction for example; what an atmosphere it created!
otherwise though, they can bend over and bare their arses(braveheart style) for all i care. let them do what they want...

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Phil November 26, 2009 1:00 pm

Fair enough Felix, can't argue with that.

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UK_John November 26, 2009 1:02 pm

This is an English speaking website, so no, there are very few French people. Silly Kiwi.

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RD November 26, 2009 1:08 pm

UK_John, there are in fact thousands of French visitors to the site each day. You don't see them comment as much because some are shy about their English.

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UK_John November 26, 2009 1:14 pm

I disagree.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 1:18 pm

Boom!!!

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RD November 26, 2009 1:55 pm

It's not really something you can disagree or agree with UK_John, it's fact mate.

Email if you want to discuss it further, otherwise lets try stay on topic here.

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theboss November 26, 2009 2:03 pm

UK_john = troll

glad all the English speakers on this site aren't as closed minded as him.

Jonah looked a bit unfit I think. Weight does not a fit player make.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 2:07 pm

UK_john what a MORON!
I'm french and i can tell you that RD is one of the very famous rugby blog in here! Please don't be so stupid.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 2:13 pm

UK_John > I think we found a new phenomenon on this site, who's reaching some new high level of stupidity

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 2:22 pm

UK_John said...

I disagree.

............

How can you disagree with the site owner? He has traffic stats telling him where visitors to the website come from. LMAO.

You're not very bright are you.

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UK_John November 26, 2009 2:23 pm

Stay classy, lads.

Lomu shouldn't be playing rugby at this point, he's jeopardising his health. Rather selfish of him if he has a family.

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Stubby November 26, 2009 2:42 pm

UK_John what you don't understand is that it is rugby! It doesn't matter what language the commentators use because I watch the action. I don't necessarily listen to bunch of talking heads.

Jonah will have to learn French to become a better player in Marseilles. Why don't you learn French so you come become a better person?

AND ffs give the guy a break you silly french people! As the one guy said : give him 2-3 months...
although playing center?

Jonah is still big, and still strong ( he really threw that one guy aside like a doll! ) and even if he can't run sub 11 seconds, I will bet he can still run faster than any forward and many of the backs.

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Andy November 26, 2009 2:53 pm

I don't think UK John is from the UK, we couldn't possibly produce someone as dumn as that (although he could be Gordon Brown). He's obviously someone masquerading as British to make us look bad.

Jonah what a legend, shame he had to quit the game. It proves how much of an impact he had in such a short space of time when his name is so well known throughout the world and is immediately associated with rugby. Think about it i reckon more people know the name Jonah Lomu than the names Dan Carter, Richie McCaw etc probably even Jonny Wilkinson. Even my mum knows who he is and she can't even get her head round me axplaining what a knock on is.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 3:05 pm

lomu's overrated. he made a name for himself when rugby players were still semi-amateur and couldn't tackle well. for a 'try scoring machine' he could never score against the boks. his kicking was terrible and he never looked for work. his defence, for such a huge polynesian was suspect. he made a name for himself by stomping on mike catt, big deal. at his best, he was never as good as bryan habana, who just happens to be the complete player. lomu's short career means he really should be in any sort of rugby hall of fame.

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UK_John November 26, 2009 3:15 pm

"dumn" lol

RD, why only delete my posts? Can you not see others are insulting me?

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RD November 26, 2009 3:17 pm

UK_John.. lets try stay classy, as you said, and mature. Thanks mate

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Oisin November 26, 2009 3:31 pm

Andy, bit paranoid there ha i dont think people are goin to hold it against the brits for havin one eejit, but saying that we hate the brits [Im irish] ;)

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 3:36 pm

eewwwww!!! Some people don't realize that the rest of the world is making efforts to learn english! Sorry UK-boy but we are not England yet. Thanks to your country for giving us rugby but it would be remarkable from you to let us also speak french on french television!
This website is hudge in France and a little diversity is very appreciated!
Merci.

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jay November 26, 2009 4:13 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfUmW_Mf5qc
Do not feed the troll ;P

Anyway I also disagree with RD's stats... It's a well-known fact that french people use proxies not to get busted on their frenchness.

On a more serious note, I think the specialists on canal+ (gee again french) summed the Lomu thing up : he was ahead of his time with his physical abilities... but now that it's not the same power anymore, he ends up not "being a show" like he used to.
IMO let the man come back to whatever he wants to do...As he's been an inspiration for many generations...

View Video

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Phil November 26, 2009 4:20 pm

Centre seems a strange choice for an experienced winger who's only just about match fit and unable to communicate properly with the other players!
Anyone know why he was put there?

L'homme qui s'appelle UK_John a un tete comme un pomme de terre.

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Westerner November 26, 2009 4:36 pm

Lomu is still a legend, thats one fact cleared up. To try and answer Phils question, theres one phrase why I can see him playing in the centre - Crash Ball!!


Anyone else think that UK_John is jamestheconvict is disguise??

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noikz November 26, 2009 4:45 pm

French is a great language, especially within rugby. If I have the choice between watching Canal+ France's coverage of Top 14 or ESPN UK's, it's a no brainer. The commentary on Canal+ is on another level by far.

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Braith November 26, 2009 5:12 pm

Jonah in his prime would still run over anyone playing the game today.

to say nobody could tackle back then is ridiculous.

Jeez the people on here are so stupid.

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Shaft November 26, 2009 5:39 pm

People commenting on the internet are stupid in general Braith. Ever taken part in a youtube 'discussion'?

Take the random fools with a pinch of salt.

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Vic November 26, 2009 5:56 pm

Nah, im not irish, tbh i do agree that its good to hear someone talking up lomu, i just wish it wasnt nonu, he is a prick really!

Now im going to bring something up, and before you all say it, im not welsh, but (here we go...) Last year, the all blacks did the haka, and the welsh stood firm and didnt back down....Now, nonu, cried his eyes out about that (not literally...or maybe literally) but saying it was disrespectful, rude, and honestly, i love the haka, but what the welsh did was fantastic! i mean, the all blacks come up to wales, they stand on the welsh ground, do a 'war dance' effectively, and the welsh stand there and dont back down, as if to say 'you cant come up here and expect us to back down' (obviously this didnt seem to work in the score line side of things, so lets ignore that bit lol)

But nonu bitches and moans and whines and fucccccck, you are supposed to be some fucking rock solid warrior ancestors decendant, how about you grow a set and stop acting like a fag! (noisy motorcyclist...see southpark!...or maybe he is bikesexual...im not sure)

so yeh, hence why when i read that by nonu i thought 'yeh lomu is a legendary player, but you are a whiney bitch!'

So anyway.....that was the justification for my comment.....hardly mature, but well justified i think!

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 6:34 pm

Nonu is a brainless woopsie

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Anty November 26, 2009 7:46 pm

"Jeez the people on here are so stupid."

That's right, you said it yourself Braith.


On the haka, shouldn't that count as a national anthem? Is there a rule about the time it takes and so on? I find it pretty cool but clearly I think other teams should retaliate with similar warlike dances, that's kind of the anthropological origin of the haka in the first place I guess?

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geordie November 26, 2009 7:58 pm

what an incredable man to go through what he had must have been so hard wondering if you were goin to live again let alone play rugby puts him in a class above the rest what a man,

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Cobine November 26, 2009 8:23 pm

Phil said...

As players get older they tend to switch position to a slower pace, wingers usually go to outside centre, outside centres usually go inside, flyhalfs go inside centre, opensides go number 8. Generally it is just because they lose their speed, physicality and fitness.

I always thought Lomu should move to outside centre as he got on, seemed to lose his pace a bit in his later years for the AB's.

Remember, the two ways to play 13 are having a fast explosive runner or a small player who can expose defence quite easily to create space for the wings.

I'm 17 and I coach the backs at Northampton Saints academy.

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Antoine November 26, 2009 8:48 pm

It's Marseille. No s.

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UK_John no.1 fan November 26, 2009 8:56 pm

i have just read the whole page of comments, yes i am very bored,but UK_John is so HILARIOUS. A compilation of UK_John's great comments:

UK_John said...
Um, RD, please don't post non-english videos here. It was rather frustrating not understanding Jonah Lomu. Thanks.

UK_John said...
English is the universal language, children.

UK_John said...
This is an English speaking website, so no, there are very few French people. Silly Kiwi.

RD said...
UK_John, there are in fact thousands of French visitors to the site each day. You don't see them comment as much because some are shy about their English.

UK_John said...
I disagree.

UK_John said...
Stay classy, lads.

Lomu shouldn't be playing rugby at this point, he's jeopardising his health. Rather selfish of him if he has a family.

Comment deleted
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

UK_John said...
"dumn" lol RD, why only delete my posts? Can you not see others are insulting me?

RD said...
UK_John.. lets try stay classy, as you said, and mature. Thanks mate

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Phil November 26, 2009 10:12 pm

Cobine, thanks for such a sensible and constructive reply. I've learnt something new today! Much appreciated and hope it all goes well at the Saints academy.

See RD - people can be nice to each other on your website!

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RD November 26, 2009 10:20 pm

Thank you Phil. Lets see more of it.

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4LC4TR4Z November 27, 2009 8:21 am

Those who don't wanna hear french comments, mute button ! :-)

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Juan November 27, 2009 8:33 am

french langua ge hurts my ears.

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Anonymous November 27, 2009 10:03 am

Lomu is a sad, old joke. He should be playing Vets Rugby!

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basski November 27, 2009 9:30 pm

UK_John why do you whine

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UK_John November 28, 2009 2:40 am

My so called whining led to someone translating the damn footage. You should thank me, no belittle me. Respect goes a long way and I don't see any of it here.

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UK_John November 28, 2009 5:02 am

By the way, I'm a stupid muppet.

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Anonymous November 28, 2009 5:39 am

Jonah is the man, alot of people dont know how close to dying he was.

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Stubby November 28, 2009 7:13 am

UK_John
Respect is earned. Making comments such as yours will never earn you respect from decent people.

When is marseille's next game?

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Joseph Condron December 15, 2009 2:53 am

Great to see that Jonah has returned. I hope he uses this match to kick off from here.

He probably will never play for the All-Blacks again but he still should be able to play some good rugby.

It is a travesty that he wasn't a world cup winner.

Wish him all the best.

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