Super Rugby: Ma'a Nonu set for one last crack at title?

Ma'a Nonu in action for Toulon earlier this year BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images

Former All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu appears to be closing in on a return to Super Rugby, with the Chiefs and Blues emerging as the most likely destination.

Nonu signed off on a three-year stint with Toulon earlier this year, the 103-Test veteran citing family reasons as to why he wouldn't be extending his stay in the south of France.

There has been little movement on the European front since, prompting speculation Nonu and his young family were seeking a return to New Zealand and one last crack at a Super Rugby title.

Nonu finished up with the Hurricanes in 2015, the loss to the Highlanders in a thrilling final his last game in the yellow and black. He bowed out of Test rugby on the best possible note, though, as a member of the All Blacks team that defeated the Wallabies in 2015 Rugby World Cup final.

Given the Hurricanes are well stocked for midfielders in the likes of Vince Aso, Ngani Lauampe, Matt Proctor, Jordie Barrett and Wes Goosen, a return to the Kiwi capital appears more unlikely.

But he does have a link with Chiefs coach Colin Cooper, whom Nonu made his Super Rugby debut under at the Hurricanes way back in 2003. But the Chiefs coach wouldn't be drawn on the speculation on Thursday; he didn't exactly rule it out though either.

"No, we haven't talked about that; our focus is this quarterfinal," Cooper said of Nonu. "Those sort of discussions don't come into it...it's week by week, don't lose your focus; bring it all this Friday night.

"I'm just saying we haven't been discussing it. I'm not saying no or yes."

There are also links for Nonu in Auckland where former teammate Tana Umaga survived the axe to remain as coach of the Blues for one more season. It would give Umaga the chance to partner Sonny Bill Williams and Nonu in the midfield, while further easing star winger Rieko Ioane closer to the action when appropriate.

One team Nonu won't be heading to is this year's red-hot favourites, the Crusaders. Already blessed with the likes of Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Tim Bateman and David Havili, the Crusaders are well stocked for midfield options.

But that didn't stop Crusaders coach Scott Robertson from having a little fun at the media's expense when he was quizzed about a Christchurch move for Nonu.

"No comment," Robertson replied before a long pause. He then burst into laughter saying it was a case of "probably not", the coach keen to drop the classic uncommitted response.