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NRL superstar Joey Manu may ditch Super bid for France

By Neil Fissler
Joseph Manu of the Roosters is tackled during the round eight NRL match between St George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium, on April 25, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Joey Manu is already being hawked around Top 14 clubs for a move at the end of next season after his one-year deal to play in Japan with Toyota Verblitz runs out.

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The NRL superstar recently confirmed that he was leaving the Roosters, where he won back-to-back NRL Grand Finals in 2018 and 2019, to cross codes.

New Zealand League international Manu, 27, had been locked in talks with relegation-threatened Montpellier before opting to join former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen at Toyota.

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It was widely expected that Hamilton-born Manu would use Japan as a springboard to attract one of New Zealand’s five Super Rugby Pacific franchises to sign him.

The Roosters centre has made no secret of his long-time plan to follow in the footsteps of Sonny Bill-Williams to become a cross-code international.

But for that to happen, he needs to be playing in New Zealand, and according to RugbyPass sources, his CV is once again making the rounds in France.

Whispers are that Racing 92 could be taking a close look at him despite Manu himself saying that his immediate focus is on playing in Japan Rugby League One, and he has no plans beyond that.

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His interest in playing for the All Blacks would appear to rule out a return to the NRL, but it would also mean he couldn’t play in France unless it was for another year-long stint.

“Obviously, that’s the big dream for Kiwi kids (playing for the All Blacks). I don’t even know, to be honest (playing beyond Toyota).

“Obviously, next year, rugby union. So that’s my main focus. I just want to focus on this season, but yeah, I haven’t really said I’m coming back.

“So once I get over there, I’m playing rugby union, and I’m just going to try my best at that,” Manu said after announcing his move to Japan recently.

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Comments

5 Comments
T
T-Bone 15 days ago

At 27 he really should play in Japan for some money for a season then move to SR
There are no guarantees and I assume he would play centre or maybe wing and the ABs are very strong there already

There are no guarantees he would make it
Fantastic league player like RTS but look how that turned out

s
swivel 15 days ago

If he wants to wear black a year in Japan and then a year in France would be his best prospect to impress in s WC year. I cant see NZ spending that money for two years of an unknown.

J
JD Kiwi 15 days ago

I wouldn't get too excited about what his agent is doing. All that matters is where his next contract is.

Pretty old to be learning rugby anyway.

S
SadersMan 15 days ago

Enough of this “will he won’t he ex leaguie wants to be an AB or does he”, nonsense. Please.

A
Andrew 15 days ago

If you aren’t in the words of Cowboy Shaw, “pissing blood” to get that black jersey, you arent remotely in the hunt. The “I dont know…” attitude of this bloke wont go unnnoticed in NZ.

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