Rugby Union: Two-year deal for Lomu

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The Independent Online
JONAH LOMU yesterday made clear there were never any doubts about his ultimate destination after the Word Cup. It was not money that was uppermost in his mind. His main desire was to remain in New Zealand.

"If it was for money, I would not be in New Zealand," he said of a decision which means he is turning his back on a rumoured seven-figure deal over two years with English rugby union suitors said to include Bristol, London Irish and Worcester, and rugby league's Leeds and Wakefield.

Nevertheless, when the news broke that the All Black wing had signed a new two-year deal with the New Zealand Rugby Football Union - short of the next World Cup - he was accompanied by Craig Lawson, the head of Adidas New Zealand.

The sports equipment company is midway through a 10-year contract with the All Blacks worth a reported pounds 70m; much of that hangs on Lomu's continued presence, not just in the squad, but also in the country. It is thought Adidas will have helped match whatever salary Lomu was turning down.

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