Ma’a Nonu will return to New Zealand ahead of the 2019 Super Rugby campaign after spending three seasons with French heavyweights, Toulon.
The 103 times capped All Black will go full circle with his career as he returns to New Zealand on a one-year deal with the Auckland Blues.
This will be the third time Nonu will have played with the Blues and head coach Tana Umaga is looking forward to the experience the powerful midfielder will bring to his side.
“Our review showed that our backline, while talented and exciting, lacked an experienced figure on a regular basis in the midfield due to injury,” said coach Tana Umaga.
“Next season will throw up some other challenges with a new format without the international break. And players in line for the World Cup, like Sonny Bill Williams, will likely be monitored more closely.”
Nonu himself is looking forward to helping the Blues achieve success after a disappointing few seasons.
“Hopefully next year will be a year to build and to be successful. That is the challenge I am looking forward to.
“I know the Blues have had some tough times in the last few seasons but I am excited to play with some of the young and up-and-coming players who will have long careers and rejuvenate this place.
“And I am looking forward to be under the watchful eye of Tana who was a mentor when I was coming through, so I am looking forward to doing my best for him and the franchise.”