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Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Sunday, 28 June 2009 12:50 UK

Marseille close to signing Lomu

Jonah Lomu at a charity function
Lomu made his name during the 1995 World Cup in South Africa

New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu is set to sign for French third division side Marseille Vitrolles.

A club statement said they are "on the point of finalising the transfer of the greatest rugby legend in the world".

Lomu, 34, won 63 caps for the All Blacks but his career was cut short by a kidney illness that eventually required a transplant in July 2004.

"Everyone thought I'd ended my playing career but that was wrong. I still feel the desire to play," said the winger.

After the kidney transplant, Lomu played for Welsh side Cardiff in 2005-06 but without any great success and he returned home to play for North Harbour.

"I took a sabbatical year to be at my pregnant partner's side and to fully enjoy this important moment in any man's life," said Lomu, who scored 37 tries in his 63 New Zealand Tests.

"It will be me alone who decides when to call it a day."

And he is excited by the prospect of helping Marseille reach the top echelons of French rugby.

"Marseille is the second biggest city in France and it deserves to have a top rugby side," Lomu said.

"The club now has the means to meet its ambitions and promotion to the second division is the priority for this year.

"My ambition is to help Marseille join the group of top clubs in France."

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see also
Lomu eyes 2007 World Cup
27 May 04 |  Rugby Union
Lomu on track to return to action
13 Jun 06 |  Internationals
Cardiff Blues recruit legend Lomu
30 Sep 05 |  Welsh
Lomu has kidney transplant
04 Jul 04 |  Rugby Union
Lomu career in jeopardy
02 Apr 03 |  Internationals

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