Christie and Campbell teach Lomu to run faster

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jonah Lomu has enlisted the aid of two Olympic sprint champions - Britain's Linford Christie and Darren Campbell - in a bid to rediscover his speed. The former All Black wing Lomu, 30, whose power and pace made him one of the most feared strike runners in the game, is two matches into his comeback with Cardiff after almost three years on the sidelines during which he has undergone a kidney transplant.

At his peak the 6ft 5in, 19-stone Lomu was a veritable thoroughbred, capable of covering 100 metres in 11 seconds, but in both Heineken Cup matches against Italian side Calvisano it was apparent that the New Zealander had gone from racehorse to drayhorse in the speed stakes.

So Lomu, who has set himself a target of winning back his place in the All Blacks squad in time for the 2007 World Cup, turned to Campbell and his coach Christie for help, and yesterday Campbell said: "I'll get him quicker. He'll feel the difference in two weeks.

"I know pretty much what I'm going to do with Jonah. It's not going to be too difficult for him, it's just about re-educating the muscles to remember how to do things at a faster pace."

The Wales centre Gavin Henson appears before a disciplinary hearing in Glasgow today to answer two charges arising from last weekend's Heineken Cup tie against Leicester in Swansea.

Henson, 23, faces one charge of elbowing the Leicester prop Alex Moreno, which left the Argentinian with a broken nose, and a second charge of aiming a kick at the same player.

The minimum ban for elbowing an opponent is a fortnight, but the France captain Fabien Pelous received a nine-week suspension for striking Wallabies hooker Brendan Cannon with his elbow in last month's Test in Marseilles.

The kicking charge carries a minimum three-month punishment, suggesting Henson could miss Wales' entire RBS Six Nations campaign if he is found guilty.

Moreno's club colleague, the England scrum-half Harry Ellis, faces a knee operation to repair damage inflicted in a clash with Ospreys' Ian Evans, who appears before the same disciplinary hearing as Henson. "Harry will have a small operation," Pat Howard, the Leicester head coach, said. "I think he is likely to be out for a couple of weeks."

With Ellis unavailable, Austin Healey is likely to continue as scrum-half when Leicester visit Bristol on Tuesday.