Piri Weepu says speculation about him returning to the Hurricanes is tough to deal with but admits he would definitely consider a move if the opportunity arose.
Weepu switched to the Blues this season after a falling out with Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett, who had a turbulent first term at the franchise when clearing out veterans Andrew Hore and Ma'a Nonu, a friend of Weepu's and now a Blues teammate.
A picture of Weepu and Hammett deep in discussion on the Eden Park pitch in March after the first game of the season between the teams suggested that their relationship was improving and it is understood that Hammett has sounded out Weepu, who travels to Wellington every weekend to see his two daughters, about a return.
"It's quite tough, people saying I'm already going back and that I've made the decision to go back - obviously you see one photo and it gives off 1000 messages," said Weepu. "At this stage it's up in the air. If I had the opportunity and they were considering me returning, I'd definitely sit down and think about it."
Hammett is remaining tight-lipped on the subject, saying his conversations with players were confidential, and Weepu was also playing his cards close to his chest.
Asked how he would describe his relationship with Hammett, Weepu replied: "I had a good conversation with him after the last time we played. He asked me how my family was and I returned the same questions and how things have been going at work and the stresses of it all which probably aren't as much as last year. I guess the relationship's pretty good."
Weepu has failed to hit any great heights at the Blues after turning up out of condition following October's World Cup victory.
He has spent a lot of time on the reserves bench but has been named to start at halfback for tomorrow (Friday) night's match against the Hurricanes in Wellington where he will come up against rising talent TJ Perenara, a 19-year-old.
"He's the future of footy down there, he's been playing some outstanding footy," Weepu, 28, said.
With the Hurricanes possessing another long-term prospect at first-five in 20-year-old Beauden Barrett, it is hard to see where Weepu would fit in at his former franchise but his leadership is probably the biggest drawcard for Hammett, and Perenara admitted this week he would be happy to have the All Black in the mix.
Weepu has signed a one-year deal at the Blues.
- APNZBy Patrick McKendry Email Patrick