Jonah Lomu has said that comparisons between him and Julian Savea are disrespectful to the new All Blacks number 11.

In an interview with England's Daily Telegraph, Lomu says he's flattered by the comparisons being made, but believes that Savea should not have to be compared to him.

"I don't believe for a moment he wants to be called the New Jonah Lomu. I'm very flattered, but don't disrespect him by saying he's like me. He's not. He's like him. He's Julian Savea. It's his jersey now. It's not mine," said Lomu.

"Julian is playing his own brand of rugby, which is fantastic for the game," says Lomu. "I don't think the comparison is fair because it's his time in the jersey. That's what people have to remember: he's done all the hard work. He hasn't been picked because he's big like me. People only see the final product, they don't see what you have to go through to get there. I know what I had to go through to pull on that jersey. And only he knows what he had to go through to get his jersey. But one thing he didn't do was get it because he plays like me."


Lomu has been in England for three months, tracking and promoting the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a tournament in which Savea has shone, tying Lomu's record for tries in a tournament with eight tries so far.

Lomu says Savea's fortune of having a great squad around him has aided his game.

"It helps his development because he's got such great people around him. For such a young guy, having players like Dan Carter, Richie McCaw alongside means he can only get better. That is if he uses that to his advantage, which he shows every sign of doing."

"I was 19 years old, still the youngest ever All Black when I ran out on the Test field for the first time. I got to run out with my heroes: Michael Jones, Sean Fitzpatrick, Zinzan Brooke. You can't be intimidated by that experience, you have to learn from it. You say to yourself: right what can they teach me? When you do that it will stand you in great stead. And I see that in Julian, that willingness to learn from those around him. Don't be shy, that's the key: let your guard down and ask for help.

Julian Savea bumps off French defenders to score in the quarterfinal. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Julian Savea bumps off French defenders to score in the quarterfinal. Photo / Brett Phibbs

"Julian is so lucky to have Ma'a Nonu inside him with 100 odd Test matches, Conrad Smith played 90 odd, Dan Carter 100 plus. It's like a library of experience alongside him. And the great thing is, he's taken that opportunity with both hands and made it his own."

Lomu says Savea is getting better with each passing year, and has delighted in seeing the combination of Savea and Milner-Skudder shining on the biggest stage.

"It's fantastic to see, the two of them in harness. Milner-Skudder tells you that rugby still has a place for the smaller person. He brings a difference dimension to the game, light on his feet, turning people. You need that. I think this is where some teams are making a mistake these days: big is not always better. You've got to make sure you're big in the right places for the right reason."

Gregor Paul and Patrick McKendry give their final thoughts pitch side at Twickenham as Dan Carter practices his kicking before the Rugby World Cup final against Australia.

Despite praising the All Blacks' array of outside backs, Lomu believes tomorrow's final against Australia will be decided at the breakdown.


"The loose forward trio of both teams is very quick," he says. "The referee at some stage is going to penalise those boys. Someone will be flopping over at the breakdown. Penalties are going to be a big thing and the referee's interpretation critical. Whoever kicks the goals will win it. It's not going to be open rugby, it's going to be tight, it will be tense as anything. Bring it on."