Stephen Donald returning to Waikato
ESPN Staff
August 20, 2015
Stephen Donald has not played in New Zealand since kicking the 2011 Rugby World Cup-winning penalty goal © Getty Images

Rugby World Cup-winning first five-eighth Stephen Donald is returning to New Zealand, having signed with Waikato to play in the ITM Cup.

Donald, who had been linked with a move to French club Toulon, is expected to be available for the Mooloos' match against Bay of Plenty in Tauranga on August 30.

The national provincial championship match will mark Donald's first outing in New Zealand since he came off the bench to kick what turned out to be winning penalty in the All Blacks' 8-7 win over France in the 2011 World Cup final at Eden Park. Donald was famously called into the squad while white-baiting, after the All Blacks were hit by an injury crisis at first-five during the tournament.

He went on to join English club Bath and has just ended a stint with Mitsubishi Dynaboars in Japan.

Donald, 31, has appeared 57 times for Waikato and is the province's fifth-highest points scorer.

"I have some great memories playing for Waikato and I can't wait to pull on the jersey again and represent the province I'm very passionate about," Donald said. "It's an exciting opportunity for me and I'm looking forward to getting the ITM Cup campaign under way and running out on to Waikato Stadium once again."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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