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Tributes pour in for All Blacks legend Jonah

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Rory Underwood has paid tribute to All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu, who has died aged 40.Underwood described Lomu’s “massive impact” on the game when he burst onto the scene at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa. The New Zealand winger scored four tries in the semi-final against England as the All Blacks won 45-29, with many commentators since suggesting his performance that day turned him into the sport’s first global star. Underwood, England’s all-time leading try-scorer, a Tigers playing legend and now a club director, was part of the England team with his brother Tony on the opposite wing. He said: “Jonah had a massive impact on the world game. “The 1995 World Cup was the first one that went global. “For a young player like Jonah to hit the stage and just dominate the whole tournament, which has never been done since, he had a massive impact on the game of rugby itself. “He was difficult to stop, as every team he played against found out. Tony and I tend to get the questions about Jonah time but every single player who tried to tackle him found it very difficult. “He wasn’t the biggest player but he was big enough. He wasn’t the quickest player but he was quick enough. Once he got his big thighs going and into his large stride length he was very difficult to bring down. “It wasn’t just because he was big and quick that he was such a great, he was a very good player too. People go on about his size but to me he was a very skilful player. “It was the combination of his size and his pace and the fact he was skilful and he was on the wing, which no-one was used to. And he did it on the world stage, which was fantastic as a rugby fan.” Underwood’s was one of thousands of tributes to Lomu through the day, including those of Tigers players and coaches past and present, who took to Twitter to express their feelings. Tigers coach Geordan Murphy wrote: “Saddened to hear of the passing of one of the greatest Jonah Lomu. Thoughts are with his family. #legend #gamechanger #topbloke”   Tigers' Australia international back Peter Betham added: “Can't believe it!! Was a hero for me growing up as an islander kid, will be missed by many!! RIP”   Former Tigers and England captain Lewis Moody wrote: “Such a sad day. He single handedly changed the game of rugby. Rugby's 1st global super star” While ex-Tigers and England centre Will Greenwood added: “#RIPJonah I will never forget that semi-final in 1995. Watching one man change a game into a Global Sport in 80 minutes.”