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Ma'a Nonu confirms he is leaving the Blues but he isn't done with pro rugby yet

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Ma'a Nonu of the Blues. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

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Christopher Reive NZ Herald

Ma’a Nonu’s fleeting return to New Zealand rugby has come to an end, with the midfielder set to continue his career in the United States.

The 103-test All Blacks will join the San Diego Legion in Major League Rugby next season, after a single year back on home shores with the Blues.

“Ma’a is a huge addition for us,” Legion head coach Rob Hoadley said of the signing.

“It is undeniable that he will have a major impact on the MLR this season. He is a world-class player who has proven himself to be one of the greats of the game. His talent and leadership will be a perfect addition to the San Diego Legion.”

Nonu returned to New Zealand for the 2019 Super Rugby season sparking discussion over whether or not he would be able to challenge for a spot in the All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad.

However, in 14 appearances, the 37-year-old pushed his claim in a struggling Blues outfit and but was left out in a crowded All Blacks midfield.

Major League Rugby is a new competition, founded in 2017 with its inaugural season being played in 2018.

The competition features 12 teams, with 11 from the US and one from Canada. The Seattle Seawolves have claimed the title in both seasons played to date.

Nonu will link up with ex-Hurricanes prop Chris Eves and former Waikato No8 Jordan Manihera in San Diego at the commencement of pre-season training this December.

Former Wallabies winger Digby Ioane (Glendale Raptors), Ex-All Blacks Adam Thompson (Utah Warriors) and former French centre Mathieu Bastareaud (Rugby United New York) have also signed on for the 2020 season.

This article first appeared on the NZ Herald and is republished with permission here. 


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