Ma'a Nonu signs with Highlanders

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 15:15 16/10/2012
Ma'a Nonu
Fairfax NZ
MOVING SOUTH: Ma'a Nonu has signed with the Highlanders.

Related Links

Highlanders court All Black midfielder Nonu Ma'a Nonu still undecided on his future Dan opts to play as Tokyo tempts Nonu All Blacks downplay talk of Nonu leaving

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Rugby partners opt for all black for their Fashion in the Field judging debuts Marty Banks training with Highlanders as Italian club waits Hello Chiefs, we need to talk - my bags are packed and I'm ready to go The Chiefs are losing a star in Aaron Cruden but they have little reason to panic Crusaders loose forward Heiden Bedwell-Curtis itching to hit the paddock after fracturing hip in October Assistant coach Jason Ryan working to improve team's already vaunted pack Stormers' Kiwi coaching connection questions dedication of SA players Waratahs want Israel Folau at ball-carrying best in Super Rugby Highlanders coach Tony Brown linked to Ireland move with Connacht Blues coach Tana Umaga agrees with new tackling laws but warns of 'bedding down period'

Ma'a Nonu has signed with the Highlanders.

The All Blacks midfielder this afternoon confirmed he will leave the Blues after just one season and join All Blacks team-mates such as Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock, Aaron Smith and Hosea Gear at the Dunedin-based franchise.

Former All Blacks lock Brad Thorn is also in the process of signing with the team that is coached by Jamie Joseph.

Nonu, who has played under Joseph with Wellington, said the major reason for signing with the Highlanders was because it was the "best decision'' for his family.

He said the "finer details'' are being worked out by his manager, the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Highlanders.

Nonu's decision to leave the Blues will not thrill new coach John Kirwan who hoped to build his backline around the big second five-eighth.

"Just on the Blues, I really respect 'JK' and I wish him all the best but right now I think this is the best decision for me and my family,'' Nonu said.

Nonu said he spoke Kirwan last week.

"As I said before it has got nothing to do with the Blues. It is a decision I have made for myself and my family.''

Although it was understood Nonu had signed with the Blues for next season, he appears to have an exit clause that allowed him to join the Highlanders.

When quizzed on this, he stated: "You will have to ask the manager about the contract system mate. I just play footy.''

Speaking in the foyer of the All Blacks hotel in Christchurch, where they are based before flying to Brisbane on Thursday, Nonu fielded just a few questions before exiting the media scrum.

The informal press conference lasted less than two minutes before he politely terminated it.

His declaration to remain in New Zealand is good news for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen who will have been left with a gaping hole in his backline after Sonny Bill Williams defected to Japan earlier this year.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content