Nonu's return can't ruffle feathers

Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:23
Large nonu hurricanes

As Ma'a Nonu's imminent return to the Hurricanes draws nearer, key figures at the franchise say the transition needs to be managed carefully.

As Ma'a Nonu's imminent return to the Hurricanes draws nearer, key figures at the franchise say the transition needs to be managed carefully.
 
A controversial figure, both on and off the field, Nonu is yet to make an official announcement on his playing future but it is understood he will use an out-clause in his contract to leave the Blues halfway through a two-year deal.
 
The Blues are still hopeful of retaining the 91-Test All Black. 
 
Current Hurricanes captain and Nonu's long-time midfield partner in the All Blacks, Conrad Smith, said there was an excitement at the franchise when it emerged that Nonu, a 100-game Hurricane, could be on his way back. 
 
"Brining a player that influential back into the team, we have to make sure the team is happy with it," he said.
 
"I'm not saying they're not, in fact it's the opposite. Everyone is pretty happy from what I've heard, but it is a big decision."
 
The Hurricanes have had problems off the field this season with departing coach Mark Hammett firing some final shots in his last interview before taking up a three-year deal with Cardiff.
 
Hammett said he was 'disappointed' by the 'mess' that greeted him when he arrived at Westpac Stadium in 2011.
 
A lack of professional standards, leadership and hard work were the main flaws according to Hammett, who controversially axed Nonu and then captain Andrew Hore before Piri Weepu jumped ship. 
 
"I want the Hurricanes to be successful and if Ma'a helps the Hurricanes to be successful then great," Hammett added.
 
While Hammett failed to elevate the Hurricanes to the playoffs during his four-year tenure, Smith maintained that there had been improvements off the field and that they were substantial
 
The All Black centre indicated that Nonu would need to embrace the new team culture upon his return.
 
"Hopefully he sees how much it has changed when he's back," Smith added.
 
"I think Ma'a has changed a fair bit in that time as well so if the stars align and everything works out I think it will be great for the club."
 
Meanwhile, Smith also revealed that Hammett would be sorely missed. 
 
"Not often a head coach leaves and none of the players want him to leave," he said. 
 
"All the players under him now will look back and tell you about how much he has done for the club."
There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 8 4 0 4 21
Reds 9 2 1 6 12
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 9 6 0 3 31
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 29
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4