Ma'a Nonu not ruling out a return to the All Blacks

Headlines 12/02/2019

Don't rule out the possibility of Ma'a Nonu wearing a black jersey in 2019.

The 103-test capped All Black has returned home after a three-year stint in French rugby with Toulon.

Nonu will don Blues colours during Super Rugby, but the carrot of a third World Cup crown could see the 36-year-old add to his impressive tally of tests.

While admitting he hasn't spoken to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, Nonu hinted that a return to the national fold is in his thoughts.

"It's there in everyone's minds," Nonu said on Tuesday. "For me, it's trying to make the Blues team first, so one step at a time."

First and foremost though is a Super Rugby campaign with the rebuilding Blues.

With the franchise seeking a first title since 2003 under new coach Leon MacDonald, Nonu will form a potentially devastating midfield alongside Sonny Bill Williams.

Without a title of his own, Nonu has pinpointed a successful campaign as a major factor in his return to New Zealand.

"I haven't won a Super Rugby comp before having come up short twice.

"I've played in quite a few semi-finals with the Hurricanes so going that step further is a real drive for this year."

Under MacDonald's new regime, Nonu believes the Blues are more than prepared to turn the franchise's fortunes around.

The former Crusaders assistant coach replaced Tana Umaga late last year with the former All Black captain stepping back to be part of MacDonald's staff.

Nonu has been impressed with what MacDonald has implemented during his short time in charge.

"Leon has been great," Nonu said. "He has brought a real high standard into the environment and brought that culture where we train to be the best. We expect the best from each other and we work hard for each other.

"The intensity is right up there. You can't miss a beat when running plays and through the fitness aspects of the game so you have to stay up. "

The Blues open their campaign against the two-time defending champion Crusaders on Saturday.

Credit to Brad Lewis and Newshub.