15 Aug 2017

Beaver back to Steelers

6:13 am on 15 August 2017

The hero of the All Blacks 2011 World Cup win Stephen Donald is returning home.

He has signed with Counties-Manukau for the provincial rugby season.

The 33-year-old former Waiuku and Wesley College student is returning to where his career started, joining the Steelers as they prepare for their Mitre 10 Cup opener against Auckland on Saturday.

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"I still believe I have plenty to offer the game," he said.

Donald grew up in Waiuku where he played his junior rugby, playing age-grade representative rugby for Counties Manukau, before making his debut for the Steelers in 2001 while still at college, playing alongside his schoolmate, Sitiveni Sivivatu.

In 2002 and 2003, he continued to play in the Steelers side coached by former All Black centre Bruce Robertson making 22 appearances for the team before moving to Waikato and the Chiefs.

Donald, who recently graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Management Studies, has achieved a lot in rugby including a National Provincial Championship title with Waikato, making the Super Rugby semi-finals on two occasions with the Chiefs, and captaining the Chiefs to their historic 2016 win against Wales.

He has also had a stint playing in Japan and for English Premiership team, Bath.