Nonu heading down south

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 06:51
Large maa nonu v auckland 630 Large ma a nonu abs train 630

All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu plans to switch to the Highlanders for the 2013 Super Rugby season, ending his one-year stint with the Auckland Blues.

All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu plans to switch to the Highlanders for the 2013 Super Rugby season, ending his one-year stint with the Blues.

Nonu cited family reasons for the move, quashing speculation the 30-year-old would wind down his career with a lucrative move to Japan in the wake of last year's Rugby World Cup victory.

"It's got nothing to do with the Blues, it is a decision I have made for myself and my family," the 71-Test veteran told reporters, adding that details of the contract had to be finalised before he signed.

Blues coach John Kirwan said he was disappointed with Nonu's decision, believing he had a handshake deal with the powerhouse midfielder to remain in Auckland.

"I am obviously disappointed," Kirwan said. "The lateness in the decision has really put us in a difficult situation, but we are going to have a young, exciting young team and we'll move on."

Nonu is the second high-profile Blues player to move to the Highlanders during the off-season, with prop Tony Woodcock also defecting after a disappointing season in which the Auckland side finished 12th on the Super Rugby ladder.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said that a deal with Nonu would be a major boost for the southern franchise, and the region as a whole, ahead of the full franchise squad being confirmed at the end of the month.

"Ma'a has been a standout performer for the All Blacks over his playing career and he would bring some great playing form to our squad next season.  He has a lot of big match experience at international level and we know that we would benefit from that," Joseph said.

"Ma'a has indicated he sees many advantages for him and his family in being part of the Highlanders environment and we would welcome that.  We're very proud of the support we give to the families of our players, and the support we get in return is a vital part of the strong family-focus we have within the Highlanders," he added.

Subject to contract negotiations being finalised, Nonu will join the Highlanders for pre-season training early in the New Year following his All Blacks commitments for the year-end tour of Europe.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 November 2017
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
Ulster v Treviso 19h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 19h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h45 Kingston Park
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 15h00 Madejski Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28
RELATED ARTICLES