May 28, 2024

Nonu, who last wore the All Blacks jersey in 2015, is determined to continue his playing career despite reaching the age of 41. The San Diego Legion, a Major League Rugby side, has officially announced the re-signing of Nonu for the upcoming 2024 season.

This marks a significant move for San Diego, as they have also successfully recruited Wallabies legend Matt Giteau, who came out of retirement. Although Nonu and Giteau were rivals during their matches for New Zealand and Australia, they will now be teammates for the second time, having previously played together at the Top 14 club Toulon.

San Diego’s head coach and director of rugby, Danny Lee, expressed excitement about Nonu’s return in a statement, referring to him as “The Legend” back for another year. Lee highlighted Nonu’s substantial impact on the team, both on and off the field, during the 2023 season. Nonu played a crucial role in the team’s success, contributing to their advancement to the MLR final and breaking club and league records. Lee concluded the statement with a declaration of the team’s determination to build on their achievements from the previous season.

Ma'a Nonu: The All Black happy putting his body on the line - especially  when there's a World Cup at stake | The Independent | The Independent

Nonu’s decision to return to the field sends a clear message of intent from San Diego, especially after their loss to the New England Free Jacks in the 2023 Major League Rugby final. Despite his age, Nonu demonstrated no signs of slowing down during the 2023 season and even delivered a decisive drop goal in the semi-finals of the competition.

Nonu’s accolades

The team gains a significant amount of expertise with the inclusion of the center, who contributed to the All Blacks’ victories in the Rugby World Cups of 2011 and 2015, clinching the William Webb Ellis Cup.

In addition to his World Cup successes, he secured five Tri Nations/Rugby Champions Cup titles and eight Bledisloe Cups during his impressive 103 Test caps.

Nonu’s extensive career in Super Rugby involved playing 159 matches across various teams, including the Hurricanes, Highlanders, Blues, and Chiefs.

While in France, he made a notable impact, participating in 93 matches for Toulon before making a return to the Blues.

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