x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Life Lessons: Jonah Lomu

The former New Zealand All Blacks player is famous for being one of the most intimidating rugby players in history. He shares his wisdom as Abu Dhabi prepares to host a major match between London's biggest rivals.

Jonah Lomu in Dubai for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.
Jonah Lomu in Dubai for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.

1. Miracles can happen every day. I'm a dreamer, everything I've done I've dreamt about. I dreamt about playing professional rugby, what I was going to do with my life, and I made my dreams reality. Everyone can do this. Don't take no for an answer in life and always follow your heart.

2. Embrace life's challenges. Sometimes life can be hard and you have to take the bad with the good. Anything in life can be challenging but it's how you deal with it. Face things head on and try to laugh at it and enjoy life.

3. Always have a plan B. When I give advice to young players I always tell them to do something else outside rugby - if you live and breathe the sport and you have nothing else outside of this, you have nothing to fall back on. Rugby lasts only a short space of your life and it can be cut shorter due to injuries. Always have something to fall back on.

4. Learn self-acceptance. The only person that can change your life is you. Your friends and family can offer guidance but only you can make yourself happy. You have to grab all chances in life but accept the choices you make.

5. Self-belief is so important. Before my kidney transplant I tattooed the mantra "Power Within" on my back, and my road to recovery was this. I kept saying it to myself as I was determined to get better.