Lomu snubs £50,000 for two-match deal
December 16, 1999
All Blacks superstar Jonah Lomu has reportedly turned down £50,000 to play two matches for Bristol in the Allied Dunbar Premiership.
Bristol, who failed to tempt Lomu with a lucrative offer following World Cup 99, wanted rugby union's biggest name for Christmas games against Saracens and London Irish.
But Lomu has again rejected their advances, and flies home to New Zealand today after attending Sunday's BBC Sports Personality of the Century in London.
Bristol, funded by millionaire club chairman Malcolm Pearce, had apparently lined up the £50,000 deal after insisting their Memorial Stadium door was always open if World Cup top try scorer Lomu changed his mind.
He would have featured in the home fixture with Saracens on December 27 and at London Irish two days later, earning more than #300 per minute.
Lomu, who will play for Wellington Hurricanes when the Super 12 tournament kicks off in February, intends enjoying a holiday instead.
"It was a great honour for him to be asked by Bristol in the first place, and then again for a one-off," Lomu's manager Phil Kingsley-Jones told the Western Daily Press.
"But he has been over here on business and wants to go back and have a holiday.
"He has made a decision to play in New Zealand, and I don't think a one-off like that would have done much good for anybody.
"It just goes to show what we have said all along _ that Jonah Lomu is not just interested in money. If he was, then he would have stayed in England."