Nonu struggling to adapt in France

Date published: January 29 2016

Double World Cup winner Ma'a Nonu is struggling to adapt after his move from Super Rugby to the Top 14.

The former All Blacks centre, who joined Toulon on a a lucrative deal after winning the World Cup last year, admits that his form is average and that he is finding it hard to win the French crowd over, who are eagerly waiting for the 33-year-old to step his game up and break his try-scoring draught.

"We won five games but I'm sure half are not happy and half are happy. I can't speak for the team, I can only speak for myself but I'm not happy with my performances, they're pretty average at the moment," he told Rugbyweek

"It's not easy. It's a different sort of mentality in France. There's lot of onus on the foreigners but we get over that."

"There's a lot of expectation here at Toulon. We're trying our best and I guess that's not enough here, but hopefully we can win some more games.

The All Blacks veteran has not scored a try in eight appearances for the French giants Toulon, and has been the target of criticism for failing to reboot his eminent on-field presence that helped the All Blacks to World Cup triumph.

"I can't control what they think so hopefully in time I can play a bit of rugby," he said. 

"That's why I play rugby, because I enjoy the challenge. But sometimes I question myself why I enjoy this game, sometimes being over here because it's so frustrating at times."

Toulon's assistant coach Steve Meehan says he is confident that things will get better and believes Nonu's improvement is evident.

"At the start it was difficult for him, a new country, new team, new players," said Meehan.

"But in the last three matches you can see he has been getting better. He has got his place in the team."

Nonu has played 103 tests for the All Blacks and more than 150 Super Rugby matches for the Hurricanes, the Blues, and the Highlanders.