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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 October, 2003, 06:56 GMT 07:56 UK
Lomu to receive honour
Jonah Lomu
Lomu will be honoured despite not being at the tournament
All Blacks wing Jonah Lomu will be honoured with a special merit award four days before the World Cup final.

Lomu was overlooked by New Zealand for the tournament but on Wednesday the International Rugby Players Association said he would receive the accolade on 18 November in Sydney.

"This award is not automatically presented every year as the recipient must be worthy of the honour," said IRPA president Tony Dempsey.

"However, IRPA believes Jonah has made a huge impact on the game of rugby ever since making his Test debut against France in 1994."

Only two players have ever received the IRPA merit award.

Former Australian captain John Eales was awarded it in 2001, while England prop Jason Leonard received it the following year.

Lomu is currently battling to overcome a kidney problem.

"I am overwhelmed to receive such an award and consider that I've been lucky to be part of the rugby family," the All Black said.

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