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Could Nonu join the Stormers?

The line-breaking All Black could join a South African Super Rugby franchise, if he’s interested

Jeremy Proome



Maa Nonu vs England

Maa Nonu vs England

Ma’a Nonu is in search of a new franchise to play Super Rugby in 2014, and while choices in New Zealand are limited, the Cape Town-based Stormers would be happy to see the tackle-busting back join their ranks.

“You’ve got a world-class player like that, you want to have him in your team,” said Stormers and Springbok captain De Villiers during a press conference ahead of the Rugby Championship clash between New Zealand and South Africa.

“So, like I said, we can do with a couple of backline players at the Stormers, and Cape Town’s not a bad place.”

De Villiers also spoke about the challenge he always faces going up against Nonu, and the respect that the two international centres have for one another.

“[It is] always a massive game when I play against him,” De Villiers told a media scrum, when asked about Nonu.

“He is someone that I really respect, by the way that he plays every time he puts on the [All Black] jersey.

“He is a good guy off the field as well.

“When you play against each other, against someone for so long, you build that respect on the field and a friendship off the field as well.

“We enjoy the odd chat after and prior to games. I enjoy that as well, because for me rugby is a platform to make friends as well. It may sound silly in the professional era, but rugby is still a game where you could kill each other on the field and still be friends off the field.

“He is one of those guys that plays it hard, but can still have the odd chat afterwards. [He is] a great player who has been written off so many times, but he just comes back stronger every single time.”

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Nonu was previously reported to be linked with French giants Toulon, but owner Mourad Boudjellal squashed that possibility.

“We looked at the option, of course, but the player had very high contract expectations and did not fit our needs perfectly,” said Boudjellal.

“With Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz and Matt Giteau, the position is full, especially as Rudi Wulf, Bryan Habana and Drew Mitchell can also play centre.”

Nonu has also been linked to another Top 14 club, Clermont Auvergne.

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