World Cup defeat scuppered Bristol's Lomu bid
November 14, 1999
Bristol's Director of Rugby, Bob Dwyer, has revealed that he believes Jonah Lomu may have come to the club if the All Blacks had won the World Cup.
"I suppose you could say the French put paid to our plans when they beat New Zealand in the semi-final, though they'd still have had to overcome Australia even if they'd come through that game," he said.
Speaking after Lomu had announced his decision to stay in New Zealand, Dwyer said: "There is no greater privilege for a player than to play for his country, and obviously we completely respect Jonah's decision to remain with the All Blacks. He believes there is still a job for him to do for New Zealand rugby, and that's to win a World Cup."
"His agent thanked us for the way we have conducted negotiations and confirmed that Jonah's final decision was between Bristol and New Zealand, which says a lot about our standing. He also said things might have been different if the All Blacks had won the World Cup. Had that been the case then Jonah may have considered he'd accomplished his task in New Zealand and been ready to take on a fresh challenge."
Chief Executive Nick de Scossa said: "Naturally we're disappointed, but we're pleased that our offer was only beaten by an All Blacks contract. And who knows what might happen in the future. The door to Jonah Lomu is still open and he knows our phone number."