NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson recalls playing alongside Jonah Lomu reminded him of being back in primary school rugby.
Gibson, a former centre, was an All Blacks teammate of Lomu at the 1999 World Cup.
"It was a real luxury," said Gibson, after learning of Lomu's death at age 40 on Wednesday.
"You know you could give him the ball and he would create something through sheer talent or physical size.
"It was like playing under eights when you know you've got the big kid on your side and you know you can throw him the ball and he'll do something, so it was really nice to be able to do that as an All Black."
Gibson stressed Lomu's influence extended well beyond the parameters of any rugby field.
"He gave us so much more than just his on field ability and what he did for the game as an advocate was truly wonderful," Gibson said.
"He was probably one of the first true global ambassadors and superstars and he really put our game on the map."
Gibson noted it had been a sad year for New Zealand rugby with the deaths of two other relatively young former All Blacks in Jerry Collins (34) and Norm Berryman (42).