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.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19
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