AN outpouring of grief has followed the news on social media, with celebrities and All Blacks tweeting their dismay.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said it was shocking news.
"We're all shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Jonah Lomu," he wrote.
All Black Keven Mealamu said his thoughts to Lomu's family, followed by a series of praying emoticons.
"Thoughts and prayers going out to the Lomu family," he tweeted.
Singer Anika Moa agreed: "Oh good lord. Tears for a beautiful man. Moe mai ra."
Comedian and actor Jemaine Clement said: "Very sad news about Jonah Lomu passing away. He was a giant in sports, a giant in real life and such a lovely guy. A gentle giant."
While former rugby star Sean Fitzpatrick tweeted: "Our thoughts are with the @JONAHTALILOMU family tonight. A very special person. @AllBlacks"
Olympic runner Nick Willis posted: "A man that brought so much joy to me as a young lad has passed away. Thanks Jonah Lomu. You were a true gentle giant."
"Oh good lord. Tears for a beautiful man. Moe mai ra."
Australian rugby player Drew Mitchell posteD: "Say it isn't so!! @JONAHTALILOMU was & always will be the greatest winger of all time!! Rest well mate!!"
Comedian Guy Williams said: "Jonah Lomu was bigger than Elvis in New Zealand. RIP"
Rugby star Israel Akuhata Dagg posted: "Was in mexico yesterday and people were speaking about
@JONAHTALILOMU .. You made rugby what it Is today Jonah... Love to you n the family"
In August, Lomu opened up to the Daily Mail about his battle with illness, saying he had set himself a goal of" "making it" to his boys' 21st birthdays.
He was hooked up to a dialysis machine three times a week, six hours a day.
He told the Daily Mail that during that time he liked to catch up on emails or watch movies.
"You have to try and stay up and be happy and positive about it," Lomu said.
"Because I will tell you one thing: it does get you down at times. It's difficult. Every dialysis patient is different but we have one commonality: we have no other choice. Your second choice isn't really a choice. It's just you giving up."
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