The Ma'a Nonu saga could finally clear up, following the confirmation that two New Zealand-based Super Rugby franchises could be recruiting the superstar second-five into their 2014 squads.
These two franchises are Nonu's former team, the Blues, and back-to-back Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs.
The Nonu saga, which has dragged on for months, could have an unexpected conclusion, with both sides initially not willing to offer Nonu a contract following his dismal performances at Super Rugby level with the Hurricanes, Blues, and more recently, the Highlanders.
But Blues coach Sir John Kirwan has had a change of heart, which is surprising considering how furious he was with Nonu when the dreadlocked beast walked out 12 months into his two year contract with the Blues to join Dunedin-based franchise, the Highlanders.
Kirwan surely must be looking into Nonu to provide more depth in the midfield, with the only confirmed midfielder for next years campaign being one Test All Black Francis Saili.
This is because of the fact that big-hitter Rene Ranger is departing to France and Jackson Willison and Malakai Fekitoa are not yet contracted for an extra year.
Superstar league convert Benji Marshall has been tipped to earn some time in the midfield, but that would seem unlikely, considering that 2014 will be his first year as a first-class rugby union player, which would mean spending some time out wide at fullback and work his way through the backline from there.
Six Test All Black Charles Piutau has had some experience at centre, but will be likely to be utilised at either wing or fullback, given that the only other confirmed outside backs for 2014 are relative newcomers Marty McKenzie, Waisake Naholo and Marshall.
All Black and Blues halfback, and close friend of Nonu's, Piri Weepu claimed that he did not know where Nonu would be playing next year but said he would fit in well.
"If he does come he'll fit into the new mould we've got. We'll wait and see -- nothing is official yet," he told the Waikato Times.
That deal is far from settled, as Weepu said, as back-to-back Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, have made an 11th-hour bid in trying to get Nonu's signature on a contract.
This comes in the wake of Sonny Bill Williams' decision to stick with rugby league for one more year before returning to union for World Cup glory.
The Chiefs, having met with Williams in Sydney earlier in the year, were thought to have secured Australasia's most famous sports star's signature for the next two seasons.
That was until last week when Williams laid out his plans for the coming years, which included an extra season with the reigning NRL champion, the Sydney Roosters.
This move would seem less likely, however, as the Hamilton-based franchise have depth in the midfield, with the only confirmed 2014 midfielder, Maori All Black Charlie Ngatai, progressing through the ranks steadily, while breakthrough stars Tim Nanai-Williams and Bundee Aki have established themselves as starters this season.
This hasn't stopped All Black flanker and Chiefs vice-captain Liam Messam from trying to convince Nonu from coming up north to Mooloo country.
"I've had a few coffees with Ma'a, and we'll see what happens," said Messam with a grin. "Ma'a will make the best decision for him and his family. I can't do much for him, I'm just his mate."
A decision is expected to be made within the next week or two, with 2014 Super Rugby squad needing to be finalized by the end of the month.
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