Nonu reflects on 10 yrs as an All Black
Fri, 03 Aug 2012 6:47p.m.
By Jim Kayes
The All Blacks squad to be named on Sunday for the revamped rugby championship is likely to contain few, if any surprises.
Least surprising will be the inclusion of Ma'a Nonu.
But it hasn't always been that way, with Nonu revealing he once considered turning his back on the All Blacks.
In 2007 he thought he had the rugby world at his feet - sure he'd play at that year's World Cup.
“I thought I was in the team.”
Only he wasn't. The closest Nonu got to France was two tests off the bench against them in Auckland and Wellington, before he was dumped and not seen again that year in a black jersey.
“I kind of asked the question, ‘Should I keep playing or should I do something else?’
“I think it was a bit of a kick in the mouth really, kick in the head as well, kick in the teeth. No it wasn't good, because my family was disappointed.”
It shouldn't have been such a surprise. Though he'd been an All Black for five years, Nonu had played only 18 tests and started just five. His threatened to be a career of unfulfilled potential.
“In the past my actions weren't always positive in playing the game, so I’d like to rough things up a bit, but being in the international arena you've got to control your discipline.”
He's still a bit of a rough diamond, but has matured. His game is more complete and the coaches have noticed. In the last four years he's played 48 tests and started all but three.
But he’s not sure how much longer he wants to play for the All Blacks, nor whether he’ll be around for the next world cup.
And after his rest during June’s Ireland series, he can't wait to kick off his 10th year as an All Black.
“I'm really excited, I’ve been training the last two weeks. I’m excited to get back out on the pitch, play some footy.”
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