All Blacks star Ma’a Nonu has been linked to French club Toulon as the European champions ramp up recruitment ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Respected French newspaper Midi Olympique claims Toulon are close to finalising a two-year deal with the veteran New Zealand midfielder.
Toulon, also the French Top 14 champions, are also reported to be eyeing Springboks loose forward Willem Alberts and multi-talented Wallabies fullback Israel Folau.
Toulon have never been slow to buy talent and operated an army of foreign stars to claim their dual titles last season.
Nonu is sidelined with a broken arm and won’t play until next year’s Super Rugby campaign where he has switched back to the Hurricanes after his stint with the Blues.
He has led a nomadic life in Super Rugby in recent years and at 32 has little to prove in the New Zealand or international game beyond the World Cup in England next year.
He has accumulated 94 tests in a stellar career that started in 2003, highlighted by the 2011 World Cup triumph.
Nonu has been linked to offshore moves before but stayed loyal to the New Zealand scene where he has become a rock in the All Blacks backline.
In his absence the All Blacks have used Ryan Crotty at second-five and are developing Malakai Fekitoa who made a good fist of the job in last Sunday’s win over the Pumas.
The All Blacks also have cross-code convert Sonny Bill Williams coming back into their mix for next year.
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