by Selwyn Manning
Several hundred rugby stalwarts welcomed the defeated All Black Rugby World Cup team home this morning.
Recently resigned coach, John Hart, and 18 All Blacks were greated on arrival by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley.
Hart thanked those gathered for their support and reminded New Zealanders that all is not lost. "New Zealand is a great country," he said before launching a barbed response to critics.
He said the "vitriolic criticism" directed at him and the team was understandable, but it is now time t move on.
Jonah Lomu did not return with the team.
Lomu is reported as having signed a deal with British rugby club, Bristol, in a one million pound two-year deal. The British Sunday Mail newspaper reported that Lomu would not return to the Southern Hemisphere but could be playing for Bristol against Manchester before the end of next week.
New Zealand Sunday newspapers reported that Lomu would return home and would not join the English team.
Jonah Lomu notched up eight tries [more tries than any other player] in the World Cup. He is expected to formally announce his future shortly.