‘So huge, but kind’ – Jonah Lomu and actor Robin Williams had a friendship for life - Ruck

‘So huge, but kind’ – Jonah Lomu and actor Robin Williams had a friendship for life

Jonah Lomu met Robin Williams at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel in 1998 in a promotion organised by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

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It brought together the biggest name in rugby and one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and started an enduring friendship.

They remained friends until Williams’ death in August 2014 aged 63.

Describing Lomu, Williams once said: ‘I never knew how huge he was. I felt like a peasant in a Godzilla movie.

‘Quickly! Tell the other villagers! We go now!

‘I realised I could fall out of Jonah’s nose and he wouldn’t even know.

‘I think he picked me up and put me on his shoulders: Put me down, Kong!

‘He was so huge, but kind.’

In an open letter following the death of Williams, Lomu described the bond they shared.

Lomu said: ‘My friend, it’s sad to hear of your passing, it was an honour and privilege to have known you, we sure had a lot of laughs together.

‘I still remember the first time we met, it feels like yesterday but we have both grown up a little more since then. Our times were full of laughs.’

‘We had a lot of great times together so I thank you for each of them, thanks for all the great memories my friend.’

The script from Williams’ blockbuster movie Jumanji was a treasured gift that Lomu held on to.

Lomu said: ‘I thought you had signed me a copy of the book Jumanji but when I opened it up it was the script of your entire movie.

‘I will always treasure that my friend and will show it to my boys too.’

Lomu died on 18th November 2015, aged 40, after a long battle with kidney disease.


“Re-imagination” – England handed easy pool for 2027 Rugby World Cup

The new format will feature six pools of four teams, with a round of 16 added prior to the quarter-finals.

This will enable the tournament window to be reduced from seven to six weeks, while promoting a rhythm that builds momentum across the pool phase and respects the same minimum number of rest days between matches as at France 2023.

If the 2027 Rugby World Cup Draw was made tomorrow, this is what the Pools may look like (based on rankings)

2027 Rugby World Cup draw (Current rankings)


  • South Africa
  • Japan
  • Georgia
  • Hong Kong
Siya Kolisi, Captain of South Africa celebrates after the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade De France, Paris on 29 October 2023 (Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK)


  • Ireland
  • Fiji
  • Samoa
  • Chile
James Lowe of Ireland during the Autumn Nations Cup match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on November 21 2020. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK