Lomu turns down Titans, stays with union - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lomu turns down Titans, stays with union

27/10/2006 03:19:38 PM Comments (0)

Former All Blacks superstar Jonah Lomu has decided to stay in rugby union, turning down an approach from NRL newcomers the Gold Coast Titans.

Lomu, 31, informed the Titans management on Friday morning of his decision to reject their one-year offer, and will now concentrate on finding a new club in his preferred code.

Titans managing director Michael Searle said he was disappointed but understood Lomu's decision.

"We understand and respect the business decision Jonah has made and wish him all the best in rugby and in life," he said.

The 125kg winger flew into the Gold Coast last week to open negotiations with the Titans after failing to secure a Super 14 rugby union contract in New Zealand for next year.

It is believed Lomu was offered a one-year deal worth around $100,000 after his two-day stay.

But the biggest hurdle stopping Lomu from joining the Titans was his worldwide, seven-figure sponsorship deals with companies associated with rugby union.

Lomu was in France this week trying to convince his sponsors to support a code switch.

Lomu, who had a kidney transplant in 2004, was given a Sunday deadline to make up his mind by Searle.

The Titans came under criticism for courting Lomu, dismissing it as a publicity stunt.

One newspaper said the sight of the former All Black matchwinner running out for the Gold Coast next year would be "the equivalent of the bearded lady".

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