One of Hawke's Bays' "favourite sons" will return to pull on the Magpies jersey this season.

Former Tongan international, Chiefs and Magpies prop, Sona Taumalolo, has signed with Hawke's Bay and will add impetus to the Magpies' Mitre 10 campaign.

The front-rower, who has been playing in France for Perpignan, Racing Metro and Grenoble since 2012, said he was looking forward to the chance to add to his 61 caps and 18 tries for the Magpies.

"I am really excited to return to Hawkes Bay with the chance to again pull on the black and white jersey."


Coach Mark Ozich was "naturally delighted" with the addition to his squad.

"It's great to have Sona back in the Bay. We're looking forward to working with him and he's a great addition with a proven track record. For Sona and his family I know it's an exciting time to return home and be among family and friends."

HBRFU chief executive Jay Campbell had worked with Taumalolo during his previous stint in Hawke's Bay.

"Sona is a crowd favourite among Magpies fans and the fact he wanted to return home and represent Clive and the Magpies before he hangs up his boots epitomises what these teams mean to him. I'm sure everyone will be excited to see him running out on McLean Park once again."

Taumalolo, wife Di and family will soon be back and New Zealand and once through the isolation process will be looking to settle in Hawke's Bay.

Sona's stats

•Hawke's Bay, 61 games, 18 tries, 2005-2011
•Chiefs, 52 games, 15 tries, 2009-2012
•Tonga, 20 Tests, 4 tries, 2011-2015