San Diego Legion Ma’a Nonu to Return as Player-Coach

According to an article in A Pleno Rugby, Midi Olympique has indicated that after playing 14 games for Toulon in the Top 14 and The Challenge Cup in 2020-2021, that Ma’a Nonu will return to the San Diego Legion as a player-coach.

The 6’0” and 240lb former All Blacks center will be 39 years old next week. He played 289 minutes in 4 starts and scored 3 tries during the pandemic shortened MLR 2020 season for the Legion.

Ma’a is from Wellington, New Zealand, and attended First Strathmore Park Primary School and then Rongotai College.

He played his amateur rugby for Oriental Rongotai, the Wellington Secondary Schools from 1999-2000, and Wellington U19s in 2001. He also played rugby league as a youth.

He played for Wellington from 2002-2015, Super Rugby for the Hurricanes from 2003-2015, the Ricoh Black Rams in 2011-12 in Japan, the Blues in 2012, Highlanders in 2013, Toulon in the Top 14 from 2015-2018, and the Blues in 2019.

New Zealand National Team

Ma’a represented the New Zealand Sevens team in two competitions from 2002-2004.

He played for the New Zealand All Blacks (#1031) making his debut against England on June 14, 2003 and playing through 2015. He was selected to the 2003 Rugby World Cup squad and played in Pool matches against Canada, Italy, and Tonga. He also won two Rugby World Cups in 2011 and in 2015.

While with the team, he won five Tri-Nations/Rugby Championships, eight Bledisloe Cups, and was capped 103 times. In 2005 he played against the British & Irish Lions.

After considering a code switch in December 2006 to the National Rugby League following the 2007 Rugby World Cup, he was dropped to the Junior All Blacks and not selected for the RWC squad, but returned to the All Blacks squad in 2008.

Ma’a also played for the Barbarians from 2007-2010.

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant