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'The legend is back': Ma'a Nonu extends his career at 41

By Josh Raisey
Michael Curry of the Colorado Raptors and Ma'a Nonu of the San Diego Legion embrace after their match during the Major League Rugby Vegas Weekend at Sam Boyd Stadium on February 16, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Stuart Walmsley/Getty Images)

All Black great Ma’a Nonu has extended his glittering career into another year by resigning with Major League Rugby outfit San Diego Legion in the United States.


The 103-cap All Black, 41, won the Western Conference in the MLR last season, eventually losing to the New England Free Jacks in the final. Despite turning 42 during the campaign, he will be seeking to go one further this season and add more silverware to his burgeoning trophy cabinet

Head coach and director Of rugby Danny Lee said after Nonu’s resigning: “The Legend is back for another year. We are thrilled to have Ma’a back for the 2024 MLR season after an outstanding 2023. Ma’a had a major influence on our team last season on and off the field and was a major factor in us having a very successful season, playing in the MLR final and us breaking Club and League records along the way. We go again.”

This announcement comes just weeks after San Diego confirmed the signing of Australia centurion Matt Giteau, who played alongside Nonu at Toulon.

After recruiting the Wallaby, Lee said: “We are over the moon to secure Matt’s services for the upcoming season. To have a highly experienced international player of Matt’s caliber join the Legion is something very exciting. He is a world-class player who will bring an incredible wealth of knowledge, a competitive attitude, and a drive to succeed with him that will no doubt spread throughout the squad. We can’t wait to get the former MLR winner onboard.”

Alongside the deals for Nonu and Giteau, captain and former Scotland international Blair Cowan also signed a new contract on the west coast recently.

The MLR season gets underway in March, with San Diego travelling to the Starfire Sports Complex to face the Seattle Seawolves in their opening game of the season.




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