Henry expects Nonu to stay in NZ
June 14, 2011
Nonu will be seeking a new club next season after the Hurricanes said they would not renew his contract © Getty Images
All Blacks coach Graham Henry is confident Ma'a Nonu will remain in New Zealand despite being dropped from the Hurricanes' squad.
The 29-year-old Nonu, capped 56 times by the All Blacks, was axed by the Hurricanes last week and has spoken publicly about seeking a move overseas. But Henry believes the strong-running centre will stay in New Zealand with a potential sabbatical option in any new contract. ''We'd like him to stay and I think he will stay,'' Henry told the Dominion Post. ''I think we need some flexibility in his contract ... maybe some time out of the country to play a bit of footy and then come back. I don't know, I'm talking about things I shouldn't be talking about.''
Henry also believes Nonu and All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore, who has also been told his Hurricanes contract will not be renewed, could still make an impact on the international stage. "When he [Nonu] is on the job he is a world class player and he has the ability to break the line better than the majority of midfield players in the world. And he has played very well for us."
Henry was speaking after spending a few days in the Hurricanes camp and admitted there was some tension in and around the Wellington side. "I think there is a wee bit of atmosphere, a bit of tension. People have done what they felt they needed to do and the players involved have a challenge and they will meet that challenge.''
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