Ma’a Nonu has not impressed since joining Toulon.
When Ma’a Nonu joined Toulon, fans of the French super club were immediately excited at the prospect of the All Black World Cup winner joining the likes of Quade Cooper, Matt Giteau, James O’Connor and Mathieu Bastareaud in an all star backline.
However things have gone to plan for the former Hurricanes player. On his debut, Nonu threw an intercept pass that allowed Gael Fickou touch down for Toulouse’s first try in their massive 31-8 victory over Toulon.
As Nonu’s mistake was overshadowed by the general malaise that affected Toulon during that massive defeat, he escaped much criticism However the manner in which he bought Conrad Smith’s dummy against Pau last weekend has led many to question the double World Cup Winner.
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Not only was Nonu faced with criticism from supporters, but Toulon owner, Mourad Boudjellal. In an interview published in Le 10 Sport, Boudjellal admitted that Nonu’s performances had been ‘disappointing… particularly in defence’.
Although Boudjellal hoped that Nonu would have integrated himself into the Toulon set up much quicker, he feels that there may have been too much expected of the centre so early after joining the French giants.
Indeed, while the Toulon owner said, ‘If I told you that I’m happy with him, I’d be lying’, he also admitted that he was ‘not worried’, arguing that Nonu was not yet a ‘lost bet’.
Nevertheless, as many kiwi fans will attest, Nonu’s form at international level contrasts greatly with that on the club scene.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena