Rugby: Young Tongan actor Mosese Veaila to play Jonah Lomu in mini-series

Mosese Veaila will play Jonah Lomu
Mosese Veaila will play Jonah Lomu in Three's mini-series. Photo credit: Three/Photosport

Aspiring Tongan actor Mosese Veaila has been revealed as the man to fill the biggest boots in world rugby - those of Jonah Lomu - in Three's upcoming mini-series on the All Blacks legend.

Funded by NZ On Air, the two-part series Jonah will screen in the build-up to next year's Rugby World Cup as part of the 2019 Three Event series, announced on Thursday.

Standing 1.98m (6ft 6in), Veaila, 21, certainly has the stature to play Lomu, who burst onto the world rugby stage as a teenager - the youngest-ever All Black at 19 years and 45 days - in 1994.

Lomu, at 1.96m (6ft 5in), went on to play 63 times for the national team, scoring 37 tries on the wing and eventually retiring in 2002.

Perhaps the most famous moment of his career came at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, where he literally trampled over England fullback Mike Catt on the way to a memorable try -one of his four that day - in the All Blacks' 45-29 semi-final victory.

At his prime, he was the world's most famous rugby player, transcending the oval-ball code into other codes and walks of life, and was still one of the game's most recognisable ambassadors until his death of heart attack - a result of his long-standing kidney condition - in 2015.

He played in two Rugby World Cup tournaments and won sevens gold medal at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.

Lomu left behind wife Nadene, and children Brayley and Dhyreille.

Most of Veaila's credits to date have been with productions at New Zealand Drama School, Toi Whakaari, where he completed his final year just last week.

Other shows featuring in the Three Event series include Dancing with the Stars NZ, Patrick Gower: On Weed, Fish of the Day with Clarke Gayford and Moving Out with Kanoa.