Nonu to miss the start of the Super Rugby season

All Blacks and Blues centre Ma’a Nonu will miss the opening rounds of the 2014 Super Rugby season as he will be given time to work his way back from ankle surgery.

Nonu has returned to the Blues after a disappointing season with the Highlanders which left him without a franchise until Sir John Kirwan eventually decided he could play for the Auckland franchise again.

The Blues have welcomed back their All Blacks this week and Kirwan says that Nonu will be given every opportunity to regain his fitness as he recovers from off-season surgery on his ankle.

“I want him to be well physically, and his wellbeing is the most important thing,” said Kirwan who predicted that Nonu is unlikely to be considered until after the season proper had begun.

“We just need to get him well first and put him out when he’s ready. He wants to play, but I’m going to hold him back.”

The Blues will also allow Piri Weepu (knee) and Chris Noakes (neck ) to work their way back to full fitness.

Like, who have also been under the knife, he will be given every chance to work back to full fitness before being selected to play a match.

Nonu and the Blues fell out in 2012 when Kirwan felt that the 88 Test All Black had reneged on a handshake deal to return to the franchise for the 2013 but instead he went on to sign for the Highlanders.

That all appears to be water under the bridge now in Auckland and Kirwan said that he is getting on fine with Nonu and there was no need to have a clearing of the air between the two.

“None needed. It was all done, and we’re good as gold. His communication has been outstanding and he wants to play,” Kirwan told Fairfax NZ News.

“As far as I’m concerned every communication I’ve had with him since he re-signed has been fantastic. He’s done everything he needs to do, but he’s coming off a little ankle cleanup, and we just need to make sure he’s 100 percent fit.”

Nonu said that he was looking forward to the new Super Rugby season and is happy to be back in Auckland.

“It’s good to be back, it’s exciting times and I can’t wait,” Nonu said on the Blues site.

“I’m pretty motivated, I’m really excited about the challenges ahead and I’m excited to be back in this group.”

“I had a bit of a tidy up in the off-season, I’m starting to run hopefully in the next couple of weeks at full speed and I just want to get things right and don’t want it injured again,” Nonu said.

Nonu conceded he was unsure whether Blues fans would embrace him after chequered seasons with the Hurricanes, Blues and Highlanders, but said he just had to do his talking on the field to win them back.

“I guess it’s been in the back of my mind. Hopefully 2014 will be a better year for me in Super Rugby. I can’t look back on previous experiences, I’ve just got to move on.

“I’m not sure (whether I’ll be embraced by Blues fans), I hope so. I’ve just got to perform on the field.”

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