New Zealand Rugby
Steve Hansen happy Nonu will stay
October 21, 2013
New Zealand's Ma'a Nonu takes a breath, New Zealand v Australia, Bledisloe Cup, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, October 19, 2013
Ma'a Nonu will return to the Blues after a one-season stint at the Highlanders © Getty Images

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is welcoming reports that inside centre Ma'a Nonu has pledged his allegiance to the Blues next year. Radio LiveSport is reporting that Nonu, 31, has turned down a lucrative French club offer and agreed to terms with Blues coach Sir John Kirwan to remain in Super Rugby.

The 85-Test veteran ended an unhappy one-season stint with the Highlanders this year - completing his third season at a different franchise. Kirwan was upset when former Hurricanes back Nonu reneged on a handshake deal to stay with the Blues after one season in 2012.

However, the pair have reportedly made amends, with an announcement expected before the All Blacks leave next week for their tour of Japan and Europe. Hansen last week said Nonu's future had been an itch he wanted scratched all year and was relieved the world-class player would not be heading offshore.

"It might be a weight off his shoulders," Hansen said. "I just think it's great that he's here - it makes him available for us. He's playing very, very well at the moment. He's in a very good head space and, physically, he's in good shape."

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