Jonah Lomu's widow has spoken out on the eve of the first anniversary of his death, thanking those who supported her and the couple's young sons.
All Black legend Lomu died on November 18 last year due to the kidney complications that had plagued him for 20 years.
He was 40.
His wife, Nadene Lomu, issued a statement this afternoon ahead of the first anniversary of his death.
"Firstly, I want to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of those people who have supported our boys and myself since Jonah's death a year ago," she said in the statement issued by the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association.
"There have been many of you who have helped us through the toughest year of our lives.
At this especially difficult time we want to keep a low profile and not make any public appearances, which I am sure people can understand.
"While every day is a challenge without Jonah, this first anniversary is particularly poignant for us all."
Nadene Lomu said her sons, Brayley, 7, and 6-year-old Dhyreille, were doing "as well as you could expect"
"But they miss their daddy hugely and we talk of him every day," she said.
"We have a tight support team now and we are so lucky with the love of our family, friends and the church."
She also acknowledged the victims of this week's deadly earthquake.
"There are many others suffering loss right now, not the least those affected by the devastating earthquakes this week.
"My heart goes out to all those who are grieving in any way. It is a time for kindness and understanding."