Cowan returns to New Zealand
Cowan returns to New ZealandSHARE
Veteran All Black scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan will return to New Zealand after two seasons in the English Premiership.
The 32-year-old Cowan has signed to play for the Tasman Makos in the NPC.
The Tasman Rugby Union confirmed he has signed a one-year deal, after seeing out two injury-affected seasons at Premiership club Gloucester.
Cowan played 100 games in 13 years with Southland, but there wasn't room for him at the southern union, which had already filled their roster ahead of the 2014 NPC.
The rugged No.9 made his All Black debut in 2004 and played the last of his 51 Tests at the 2011 World Cup.
The Tasman Makos begin their NPC Premiership campaign against Hawke's Bay in Blenheim on August 17.
Tasman will play Cowan's former side Southland in Invercargill on September 17.
Having worked with Tasman head coach Kieran Keane previously at the Highlanders franchise, where Keane was an assistant coach, a call from Keane saw an opportunity to join the Makos quickly gather momentum.
Cowan had also been a former All Blacks teammate of Tasman assistant coach Leon MacDonald.
"I'd negotiated with Southland also, but obviously they've got a new coaching regime down there now and with their contracted players, they've already got two nines," Cowan said.
He hasn't made any commitment about the possibility of chasing another Super Rugby contract.
"To be fair, I haven't looked that far ahead. My short term focus is with the NPC and once that concludes, I'll reassess where I'm going. We'll see what happens."
Sources: 3News & The Nelson Mail