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Confirmed! Ma'a Nonu, 36, signs with the Blues, wants to transform them into winners

Ma'a Nonu is returning to the Blues.

The Chiefs coach said he's focused on the team's quarter-final, not speculation regarding Nonu.
Source: 1 NEWS

The 36-year-old All Blacks great, who played two seasons for the Blues in 2012 and 2014, is returning to the franchise on a one-year deal next season.

A source close to Nonu confirmed the deal to 1 NEWS before a formal statement was released by the franchise later in the afternoon.

"Hopefully next year will be a year to build and to be successful. That is the challenge I am looking forward to," Nonu said in the statement.

"I know the Blues have had some tough times in the last few seasons but I am excited to play with some of the young and up-and-coming players who will have long careers and rejuvenate this place.

"And I am looking forward to be under the watchful eye of Tana who was a mentor when I was coming through, so I am looking forward to doing my best for him and the franchise."

He's set to team up with good friend Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield, in a combustible backline also featuring Rieko Ioane on the left wing.

It's a huge coup for Umaga, who needs a playoff-run to stay on as coach.

"We think Ma’a can play an important role for us and I am sure he can deliver on the field as well as help guide our young players," the head coach said.

Nonu played 103 Tests for the All Blacks, with his last being the World Cup final win in 2015.

He left Toulon after three seasons for personal reasons earlier this year.

"I have been playing rugby a long time. I’ve known first-hand the highs and the lows of a playing career on and off the field and I am looking forward to giving my best and proving that I can still play at this level."

It's not known if he'll be available for the All Blacks, with 2019 - next year - also being a World Cup year.