Rugby: Nonu returning to the Blues

Ma'a Nonu in action for the Blues. Photo / Greg Bowker
Ma'a Nonu in action for the Blues. Photo / Greg Bowker

Ma'a Nonu has re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Blues for the next two years.

While Nonu has been a consistent performer for the All Blacks, his poor form at the Hurricanes, Blues and Highlanders over the past three seasons had left him with few Super Rugby options until Sir John Kirwan stepped in to take him back at the Auckland franchise.

Nonu had reneged on a handshake agreement with Kirwan at the start of last season, Kirwan's first after replacing Pat Lam, to sign with the Highlanders instead.

Until Kirwan agreed to take Nonu back his most likely destination was club rugby in France.

Nonu, 31, said: "I am excited to be staying in New Zealand and returning to play my rugby with the Blues. While I had options to play elsewhere, my preference was always to stay, so my family and I are really happy that I can do that.

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"I would like to thank the Blues and New Zealand Rugby for giving me the chance to re-sign for a further two years.

I'm really looking forward to next year's Super Rugby season and playing in front of the Blues fans.''

Nonu has played 133 Super Rugby games and 85 tests for the All Blacks in a decade-long professional rugby career.

Kirwan said: "Ma'a has been in brilliant form for the All Blacks and we're thrilled to welcome him back to the Blues. He's one of the best midfielders in the world so to have someone with his abilities is a huge asset to the squad.''

Nonu becomes the third player to return to the Blues this off season following the signings of loose forward Jerome Kaino and prop Tony Woodcock.

The Blues open the 2014 season against the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium on February 22.

The franchise also signed former Kiwis skipper Benji Marshall in August, who is making the switch from rugby league.

- APNZ

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