Chiefs coach Colin Cooper is refusing to deny a potential reunion with former All Blacks midfielder Ma’a Nonu.
Nonu announced in May that he had “decided to take a step back from rugby” for family reasons, leaving French club Toulon. While a potential move back to New Zealand was speculated, Hurricanes coach John Plumtree ruled out signing Nonu earlier this month.
However, Chiefs head coach Cooper – who coached Nonu between 2003 and 2010 during his time with the Hurricanes – refused to rule out a potential move to Hamilton for the 36-year-old.
“No, we haven’t talked about that,” Cooper said when asked about Nonu at the captain’s run leading up to Friday night’s quarter-final between the Chiefs and Hurricanes.
“Our whole focus is this quarter-final, and those sort of discussions don’t come into it. That’s the conservativeness in me, it’s week by week, don’t lose your focus, bring it all this Friday night.
When asked once more, Cooper said: “I’m just saying we haven’t been discussing it. I’m not saying no or yes.”
Nonu played 103 Tests for the All Blacks from 2003-2015, with his last international appearance coming in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final. Nonu left for France following the World Cup victory.
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.