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Jonah Lomu's family 'end a great celebration' of the rugby legend's life as he's laid to rest

After yesterday’s publicly broadcast service at Eden Park, the Lomu family had a private service to say goodbye.

AFTER SHARING THEIR grief with, not just a nation, but the entire world for almost two weeks, the family of All Black Jonah Lomu said their last goodbyes at a private funeral for the rugby legend in Auckland.

The Mormon ceremony was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ in Mangere, the gritty south Auckland suburb where Lomu grew up.

706441394 Lomu's wife Nadene (left) and his mother Hepi comfort his sons Brayley and Dhyreille.

His wife Nadene, flanked by sons Brayley, 6, and Dhyreille, 5, addressed mourners from an altar surrounded by pale roses.

The boys wore black shirts with the winger’s number 11, the position their father revolutionised on his way to becoming rugby’s first global superstar.

The low-key event this morning was in contrast to the scenes of public grief less than 24 hours earlier, when thousands of fans attended a memorial at Eden Park, the spiritual home of New Zealand rugby.

There was also a memorial for the Pacific community to remember Lomu, who had Tongan roots, last Saturday, but Tuesday’s funeral was a chance for extended family to say goodbye.

Barbarians v Argentina - Killik Cup - Twickenham Stadium Waisake Naholo's strapping while in action for Barbarians against Argentina last month. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

“It’s bringing to the end a great celebration, the final stage of the journey for Jonah and his family,” said former All Blacks coach John Hart, who has been acting as a spokesman for relatives since Lomu’s shock death on November 18.

Since Lomu died tributes have poured in from across the rugby world, with many current players recalling how he inspired them to take up the game.

- © AFP 2015

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