Nonu’s Hurricanes return not straightforward

Maa Nonu

All Black Conrad Smith wants his centre partner back, but there’s work to do.

All Black centre and Hurricanes’ captain Conrad Smith has said that while he wants Ma’a Nonu to return to the yellow jersey, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

“That’s obviously why it’s taken as long as it has, there’s a bit to go through,” said Smith.

“I don’t know where it’s going to end up – I think there’d have to be a bit of shifting on his account.”

Nonu’s Super Rugby future has been in question following the Highlanders refusing to offer him a contract extension.

Nonu initially left the Hurricanes, where he found most of his success, in 2011 after a dispute with coach Mark Hammett. Nonu then moved to the Blues in 2012 and Highlanders in 2013 after some lacklustre seasons.

Smith, who is a long-time centre partner with the All Blacks alongside the line-breaking Nonu, explained that he’d enjoy having his dreadlocked National colleague back at the Hurricanes.

“I just said in terms of playing, I’d love to have him there.

“But I appreciate there’s a bigger picture and a lot of other things to go through.”

Smith said Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett had told him that Nonu had approached the franchise.

“The issue hadn’t come to a head at that stage, but they’d obviously been sounded out and he just sort of wanted to get my opinion. It was literally a two-minute conversation.”

Source: Fox Sports AU

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