All Black legend Ma’a Nonu has revealed how impressed he has been with Willis Halaholo’s progress at Cardiff Blues.
Speaking on the BBC Scrum V podcast the centre pinpointed his former Hurricanes teammate as a Wales international of the future.
The duo spent a season as teammates at the Wellington-based Hurricanes before Nonu made a big money move to France.
While Nonu was in France, Halaholo took centre-stage as the Hurricanes were crowned Super Rugby champions, before following Rey Lee-Lo from the cake tin to the Arms Park.
“He was good and bad Willis back then,” joked the two-time World Cup winner.
“But he came to us with an open mind in terms of trying to be a good footballer. He soaked up the knowledge.
“It was me and Conrad (Smith) in the midfield and he was playing with us and Rey Lee-Lo as well. There was the four of us in midfield that season and both of them were really good for the Canes.
“We shared the role and we come up short in the final and lost to the Highlanders. But if you fast forward 12 months they won the Championship with Willis at the helm.
“He has grown immensely and I’ve seen his progress at Cardiff, him and Rey. We always keep in touch - he’s a character. “
You can listen to the entire podcast here