Munster silent on Nonu link

NEW ZEALAND’S iconic midfielder Ma’a Nonu has been linked with a move to Munster after World Cup 2011.

Nonu is one of several All Black players who will be out of contract once the tournament ends, and he is expected to join a group of up to a dozen top players in an exodus to Europe.

Nonu and Mils Muliaina are two of those being inundated with offers from European clubs, the full-back strongly linked with Munster’s Heineken Cup rivals, the Ospreys, whom they defeated 22-16 at Thomond Park yesterday.

A report in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald claimed Nonu was a prime target for Munster, who already have Kiwi internationals Doug Howlett and Sam Tuitupou on their books.

There was no comment from Munster on the Nonu link, with one official smiling as if to say “watch this space.”

The Herald reported that Nonu was “a prime target, according to sources in New Zealand.”

Muliaina was in France last week on promotional duties for Adidas and said he’d always been keen on the French lifestyle.

“Perhaps [I’ll go to France]. It is a country that I’ve always liked,” he said. “I like the French culture, French food and French wine. To play in France would be an opportunity difficult to refuse. I haven’t thought about where I’d play next but I’d never say never to coming to France.”

Although there is a year to go before any All Blacks join up with European clubs, the NZRU want contracts sorted out sooner rather than later.

“We would like as much certainty around key guys as early as possible next year,” NZRU boss Steve Tew said. “In the end we can only put in front of them what we can put front of them and they have to determine a time frame on when they want make a decision.

“I know it is a desire among the leading guys in the All Blacks to clear this well in advance.”

All Blacks coming off contract after the World Cup also include Dan Carter, John Afoa, Sonny Bill Williams, Richie McCaw, Josevata Rokocoko, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock, Neemia Tialata, Andy Ellis, Keven Mealamu, Piri Weepu and Brad Thorn.

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