Bristol hopeful of luring Lomu

Bristol are confident All Blacks wonder winger Jonah Lomu will join them and believe a contract could be completed by the end of the week.

Bristol are confident All Blacks wonder winger Jonah Lomu will join them and believe a contract could be completed by the end of the week.

Lomu's contract with the New Zealand Rugby Football Union expired after the All Blacks' World Cup play-off against South Africa.

The 24-year-old superstar has been the subject of weekend reports that he had signed a £1.1million two-year deal with Bristol.

Bristol chief executive Nick de Scossa confirmed on BBC Radio Bristol this morning that the club had been in discussions with the player despite denials over the weekend that talks had progressed further than an enquiry with the player's agent, Phil Kingsley Jones.

"We had a long meeting with the player on Saturday to put forward our proposals and we are awaiting a decision from his management," said de Scossa.

"I presume that they've had talks with a number of clubs as well as Bristol because Lomu is a very marketable commodity at this moment.

"What his management have said to us is that they are looking at more than just money. It is about the lifestyle that the player can expect, where he might live and what sort of club he would be joining and about the owner's knowledge of the game."

De Scossa is believed to have met with the player and Kingsley Jones in a west Wales hotel on Saturday.

The club are unwilling to discuss what terms have been offered to Lomu but have stressed that it would be on a par with those paid to some of their other stars such as Springbok Henry Honiball and Puma Agustin Pichot.

"The package that we have tabled stays within the £1.8million salary cap. It doesn't involve employing his agent or the agent's wife as one paper suggested," added de Scossa.

"Lomu is a very marketable person at the moment and it is up to his management to secure other deals with sponsors and the monies from that would go directly to the player and not the club.

"Other club are pitching in for the player but one thing that we have sold to him is the rugby tradition of the Bristol club and the ways that we are trying to re-ignite the enthusiasm for the game at the Memorial Stadium."

Meanwhile, Saracens coach Alan Zondagh believes Lomu will not be joining the Allied Dunbar Premiership.

London Irish are also chasing the awesome All Black but Zondagh thinks he will sign a new, improved contract with the New Zealand RFU, allowing him to cash in on lucrative personal marketing rights.

Saracens owner Nigel Wray met with Lomu's agent at a recent dinner and the pair briefly discussed the giant winger's future.

However, Zondagh denied reports that Saracens had offered a seven-figure sum for his services.

"I very much doubt he will be playing in the UK this season. I can't see how it can be done within the salary-capping rules," he said.

"If clubs want to chase him it's up to them but we won't be joining the hunt."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders