Smith wants Ma’a Nonu back with Hurricanes

Captain Conrad Smith says that he hopes Ma’a Nonu will return to his former Super Rugby franchise the Hurricanes.

Nonu left the Hurricanes after the 2011 Super Rugby season. In 2012 he played for the Blues but then moved to the Highlanders.

For the 2014 Super Rugby season Nonu played his Super Rugby for the Blues in Auckland again and it is understood that he might return to his former franchise for the 2015 season.

The All Black Rugby world cup winning back left Wellington and the Hurricanes after Mark Hammett’s first Super rugby season in 2011 on less than friendly terms.

Hammett has now completed his term with the Hurricanes and is moving to Wales to coach Cardiff.

Hurricanes captain Smith says that the Wellington franchise have to make sure that things like Nonu’s departure do not happen again and that the situation must be handled right especially since the team culture has improved greatly since Nonu left.

“I don’t think anything is signed off. He’s a good mate of mine and I’ve played a lot of rugby with him. It will be good for the team but it has to be managed right,” Smith told Sportal.

“There is a process to go through and if he’s a good fit for the Hurricanes… We had the same discussions last year and Hammett was keen to have those discussions but didn’t think the timing was right. But he was happy to look at it again this year.

“It’s not a personality thing (with Nonu). It’s how he fits into the Hurricanes and if we’re ready for it. Personally I’d love to have him alongside me again.”

Smith also added that the whole Hurricanes squad would need to be happy with the decision to bring a player like Nonu back.

“Bringing a player that influential back into the team we have to make sure the whole team is happy with it. “

“I’m not saying anyone’s not… in fact from what I’ve heard everyone is positive. It is a big decision and that’s why you have to go through and make sure everyone is okay.”

Smith said that he has spoken to his All Black team mate about returning to Wellington and the new culture that has been formed at the Hurricanes and he is confident Nonu would buy into the new Hurricanes way.

“Hopefully he sees how much it has changed when he’s back as well. But I think Ma’a has changed a fair bit in that time too.

“If the stars align and everything works out I think it will be great for the club to have him back in the Hurricanes playing really well.”

Meanwhile Smith said that he was on track to return to the rugby field from injury in the first Bledisloe Cup/Rugby Championship after breaking a thumb.

“It’s coming along well. I’m just out of the splint so I’m happy to find a rugby team that will take me in the next couple of weeks because I’m keen to get a run around,” he said.

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