Former All Blacks second five-eighths Ma’a Nonu admits his move from Super Rugby to the French Top 14 hasn’t been easy.
Nonu signed a lucrative contract with French side Toulon following the Rugby World Cup last year when he claimed his second winners medal.
Nonu, who played 103 tests for the All Blacks and more than 150 Super Rugby matches, told rugbyweek.com that it’s been hard to live up to expectations in the French league.
“It’s not easy. It’s the first time I’ve played in that competition,” he said.
“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.
Earlier this month Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal revealed he wasn’t too impressed with Nonu and fellow off-season signings Quade Cooper and Tom Taylor.
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The controversial owner told reporters that Nonu was not yet a “lost bet” but had produced some “disappointing” performances for the club.
That was before Nonu set up a match-winning try against Wasps in the European Champions Cup.
Nonu said there was pressure on the overseas signings in the squad and admitted his play has been ‘average’ so far.
“It’s a different sort of mentality here in France. There’s lot of onus on the foreigners but we get over that,” Nonu 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.
“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.”
Toulon currently sit fourth on the Top 14 table, two points behind Dan Carter’s Racing 92 side. They face 11th placed Stade Francais this weekend with Nonu looking to break his try-scoring drought in the Top 14.