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Nonu to kick for All Blacks?

09th August 2014 17:07

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RUGBY RUGBY UNION MA A NONU

Goalkicker: Ma'a Nonu has been practising his kicking from the tee

Ma'a Nonu could be a surprise option from the tee for the All Blacks after taking over kicking duties in a warm-up match in North Harbour.

The veteran centre was given the task despite Aaron Cruden being on the field.

Although he managed just three from seven attempts, including one simple miss, All Black coach Steve Hansen insists it was more than just a bit of fun, explaining that Nonu could be a useful back-up option in the future.

"It's possible we could have ... something happen where Aaron could still play and we needed a kicker," said Hansen.

"It was just an opportunity to try it. Ma'a didn't do too bad."

In the 2011 Rugby World Cup it was scrum-half Piri Weepu who was charged with kicking duties when Dan Carter was ruled out of the tournament, although he had a great deal more experience at club level.

Nonu has worked hard at his tactical kicking in recent seasons, showing a far greater tendency to use the boot, and he showed that again to set up a try for Keven Mealamu with a cross-kick.

The All Blacks cruised to victory in the first of two 40-minute warm-up games against North Harbour, winning 41-5, before being pushed harder in a 19-7 win over Northland after the break.

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