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Lomu to reject million pound offers
London
November 11, 1999

Super League club Wakefield Trinity confirmed on Thursday giant New Zealand wing Jonah Lomu had rejected their one million pound (1.6 million dollar) offer to play rugby league.
Lomu is due to return to New Zealand on Friday and now seems set to leave a clutch of clubs disappointed.

Leeds Rhinos and Auckland Warriors had also failed to tempt the 24-year-old man mountain to try his hand at league, while Bristol headed a queue of union clubs anxious for the prized signature of the World Cup's record tryscorer.

London Irish and Worcester had also recently spoken to the player's manager Phil Kingsley Jones in a bid to persuade the colossal winger to join them, but he looks increasingly likely to sign a new four-year deal with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU).

Wakefield had secured sponsorship to cover a two-year deal for Lomu, including 500,000 pound-a-year wages, which they claim would have enabled them to comply with salary cap regulations.

Chairman Ted Richardson said: "Ours was the only serious offer from rugby league and, although we are keeping in touch, we think he is going to remain in rugby union.

"It is disappointing because his signing would have been a tremendous boost to our game. But the search goes on."

Lomu is the second All Black to reject a big-money offer to switch to league.

Fellow winger Tana Umaga turned down Huddersfield-Sheffield last weekend to see out the remaining 12 months of his contract with the NZRU.

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