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Nonu's Super Rugby return may herald new era

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Over the years New Zealand rugby has become accustomed to saying "goodbye" to top players. But "welcome back?" Not so much.

Since rugby union went professional, New Zealand accepted that leading players near the end of their careers would seek financial security by signing lucrative contracts in Britain, France and Japan.

World Cup years are usually the occasion of such departures as players make the global tournament a swansong before calling time on their international careers.