Blues star Ma'a Nonu revealed today that family played a major part in him returning to New Zealand.
The 36-year-old signed with the Blues in September last year after announcing his departure from French powerhouse Toulon.
"Family has always been priority, coming home was a big factor, we were always going to be coming back to New Zealand," said Nonu.
"We missed it here, family and kids wanted to put them through school here as well."
Nonu said returning to New Zealand rugby was always on the cards.
"It was an opportunity to come back, as I said before, grateful for the opportunity to come back and play for the Blues."
The 103 Test All Black says experience in the game has helped him remain in shape at his age.
"I guess it's what you put in your mouth really," Nonu said.
"I haven't always been in good shape over the years. I've learned with experience about my body and my mind."
Nonu is still chasing a Super Rugby title after coming up short for the Hurricanes in 2006 and 2015.
"I'm always trying to learn as well. It's been a great preseason [with] some great coaches. I'm still trying to achieve some goals really.
"And I guess it is the lifestyle you live if you want to play professional sport. It's come with maturity as well, I hope I've grown up and bee an inspiration for young players coming through."
Nonu will hope to be selected for the Blues' Super Rugby season opener, taking on the defending champion Crusaders at Eden Park on Saturday.