New Zealand sporting pundits on Tuesday accused French rugby officials of exploiting the late All Black great Jonah Lomu’s young sons to promote their bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
In a surprise move, the French team produced Lomu’s two boys at a function in London on Monday featuring presentations from the rival bidders for the tournament.
For you daddy Jonah… https://t.co/FLcfE90SOu
— JONAH LOMU (@JONAHTALILOMU) September 25, 2017
Radio Sport NZ host Martin Devlin had concerns.
“If you have children and they’ve gone through the ages of seven and eight, you’ll know what I’m talking about, those kids don’t know what they’re doing there,” he said.
He added: “If you’ve got a seven and eight-year-old you’re exploiting them is what you’re doing.”
Rugby commentator Andrew McKenna, from Britain’s Talksport, also described the French presentation as “bizarre”.
“You’ve got Sebastien Chabal and Jonah Lomu’s kids, everyone’s like ‘What the hell’s going off here?” he told Radio Sport.
“They explained it and said one of them was born in Marseille when Jonah was playing, but (it) all felt a little bit odd.”
So sad, and In so many ways: Jonah Lomu’s children should not be used as pawns in France’s Rugby World Cup bid https://t.co/jR54H76IgQ
— Jim Glennon (@jimjglennon) September 25, 2017
That thing with Jonah Lomu’s sons is all kinds of unusual
— Dane McLean (@Dane_McLean) September 26, 2017
French Rugby World Cup bid accused of exploiting Lomu’s sons https://t.co/I4i8LZaiLf
— Japan Times: Sports (@jt_sports) September 26, 2017
Awful. I remember watching Lomu’s funeral and his boys just seemed so lost https://t.co/0Kwykf5H9k
— Elizabeth Law (@lizzlaw_) September 26, 2017
What did you think of Sebastian ‘I speak for Jonah’ Chabal parading Lomu’s French norn kids in front of the France bid….
— JAMES MURPHY (@bronxbull67) September 25, 2017
— Tommy English (@T0mmyEnglish) September 25, 2017
France missing out on Dan Carter and opting to include Jonah Lomu’s son instead as part of their RWC 2023 presentation feels a bit odd?
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) September 25, 2017
— Al O’Dwyer (@al_odwyer) September 25, 2017
— philthrill69 (@philthrill69) September 25, 2017
The reason why tragic Jonah Lomu’s sons are strangely being used by France to win their 2023 World Cup bid https://t.co/fpaYAbe4An
— WalesOnline Rugby (@WalesRugby) September 25, 2017