The Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd says Ma'a Nonu would have been on the bench this weekend's Super Rugby match against the Bulls in Pretoria if it hadn't been for an injury to Manu Samoa international Rey Lee-Lo.
Lee-Lo turned in a man-of-the-match performance in the Hurricanes win at the Lions last weekend, while Nonu was unavailable because of the birth of his third child.
Boyd says there wasn't much discussion about returning Nonu to the starting lineup this weekend.
"To be fair, Rey probably would have started and we probably would have brought Ma'a off the bench if Rey had been fit but he got a hip-spiker from the weekend and is not 100 percent fit, so we did not want to risk him this weekend, and you can see that's he's not even on the bench, so after a really good performance against the Lions that would have been a tough call".
Ma'a Nonu will make his first appearance for the Hurricanes since 2011, following stints with the Blues and Highlanders.