Joseph Manu

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Joey Manu
Joey Manu.jpg
Personal information
Full nameJoseph Manu
Born (1996-06-29) 29 June 1996 (age 26)
Hamilton, New Zealand
Height192 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight98 kg (15 st 6 lb)
Playing information
PositionCentre, Wing, Fullback, Five-eighth
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2016– Sydney Roosters 131 49 0 0 196
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2018–22 New Zealand 9 3 0 0 12
2021 Māori All Stars 1 0 0 0 0
Source: [1][2]
As of 16 July 2022

Joseph Manu (Bird man) is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who plays as a centre, winger or fullback for the Sydney Roosters in the NRL and New Zealand at international level.

Manu was a member of the 2018 and 2019 NRL Grand Final championship Roosters rosters.


Manu was born in Hamilton, New Zealand, and is of Cook Island, Easter Island and Māori descent.[3] and was raised in Tokoroa.[4]

Manu played his junior rugby league for Tokoroa High School before being signed by the Sydney Roosters.[5][6]

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Having won the S. G. Ball Cup with the Roosters in 2014, Manu travelled to Glasgow to represent Australia in an under-19s rugby league nines tournament at the 2014 Commonwealth Games,[7] where Australia finished in second place. Manu moved into the Roosters' NYC team by the end of the year, where he played until 2016, scoring 34 tries in 48 games.[8][9] On 2 May 2015, Manu played for the Junior Kiwis against the Junior Kangaroos, playing on the wing and scoring a try in the 22-20 loss at Robina Stadium.[10] On 16 June 2015, Manu re-signed with the Roosters on a 2-year contract.[11] On 14 September 2015, Manu was named on the wing in the 2015 NYC team of the year as he scored 22 tries in 24 matches for the year.[12]


In February 2016, Manu was selected in the Roosters 2016 NRL Auckland Nines squad.[13] In Round 15 of the 2016 NRL season, Manu made his NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters against the New Zealand Warriors, playing on the wing in the 12-10 loss at Mt Smart Stadium.[14] On 5 September 2016, Manu was named on the wing in the 2016 NYC Team of the Year.[15] On 2 October 2016, Manu played on the wing in the Roosters 2016 Holden Cup Grand Final against the Penrith Panthers, scoring 2 tries in the comeback 30-28 victory after being down 28-6 at halftime.[16] On 11 October 2016, Manu extended his contract with the Roosters to the end of the 2018 season. Manu finished his debut season in the NRL playing in 3 matches for the Roosters in the 2016 NRL season.[17]


In February 2017, Manu was selected in the Roosters 2017 NRL Auckland Nines winning squad.[18] In Round 7 against the Newcastle Knights, Manu scored his first NRL career try in the Roosters 24-6 win at Hunter Stadium.[19] Manu finished the 2017 NRL season with playing in 16 matches and scoring 5 tries. Manu was overlooked for the Roosters finals series and played for the Wyong Roos in which they made the 2017 NSW Cup against the Penrith Panthers but lost 20-12 at Leichhardt Oval.[20]


On 20 March 2018, Manu extended his contract with the Roosters to the end of the 2020 season.[21] On 30 September 2018, Manu played in the 2018 NRL Grand Final against the Melbourne Storm, playing at centre and scoring a try in the 21-6 win.[22] In the final minutes of the match, Manu was on the receiving end of a kick to the head while he was on the ground by Melbourne five-eighth Cameron Munster in which Munster sin binned for the second time in the match.[23] Manu had an enjoyable 2018 NRL season, playing in 26 matches and scoring 8 tries. The day after the Grand Final win, Manu was selected in the New Zealand national rugby league team 23-man squad for their one-off test against Australia and their tour of England.[24] On 13 October 2018, Manu made his international debut for New Zealand against Australia, playing at centre and scoring a try in a sensational debut as the Kiwis pulled off a 26-24 win at Mt Smart Stadium.[25]


Manu made 25 appearances for the Sydney Roosters in the 2019 NRL season as the club finished second on the table and qualified for the finals. Manu played at centre in the club's 2019 NRL Grand Final victory over the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium.[26]


On 22 February, Manu played for the Sydney Roosters in their 2020 World Club Challenge victory defeating St Helens R.F.C. 20-12.[27]

Manu played 21 games for the Sydney Roosters in the 2020 NRL season. The club finished fourth on the table and qualified for the finals but lost both games to be eliminated in straight sets ending their quest for a third straight premiership.[28]


In round 12 of the 2021 NRL season, he scored two tries in a 44-16 victory over Canberra.[29]

In the round 24 match against arch-rivals South Sydney, former teammate Latrell Mitchell hit Manu with a high and late shot to the head, resulting in a season-ending depressed cheekbone fracture. The Sydney Roosters would go on to lose the match 54-12.[30] On 29 November 2021 after a speculated move to the New Zealand Warriors, Manu extended his contract to start with the Sydney Roosters until the end of 2024.


In round 4 of the 2022 NRL season, he scored two tries for the Sydney Roosters in a 28-4 victory over North Queensland. The following week, he scored a further two tries in a 24-20 victory over Brisbane. In round 18, Manu scored two tries in a 54-26 victory over St. George Illawarra.[31]


  1. ^ "Players". Love Rugby League.
  2. ^ "Joseph Manu - Career Stats & Summary - Rugby League Project".
  3. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (21 September 2018). "Two Kiwis, one town and their 2260km journey to the Roosters". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ Kirkeby, Luke (3 June 2021). "Rugby league star Joseph Manu joins South Waikato food distribution".
  5. ^ " | Subscribe to The Daily Telegraph for exclusive stories".
  6. ^ Kirkeby, Luke (8 December 2018). "Tokoroa's Christmas Parade celebrates rugby league heroes". Stuff. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  7. ^ "SG Ball Roosters in Commonwealth Games trial". 26 June 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  8. ^ "M". Nyc Database. 27 December 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  9. ^ Tim Costello (1 March 2016). "LeagueUnlimited NYC Teams - 2016 Round 1". League Unlimited. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Junior Roos hold on in thriller". National Rugby League. 2 May 2015.
  11. ^ re-sign up-and-coming Juniors
  12. ^ "2015 Holden Cup Team of the Year". National Rugby League. 14 September 2015.
  13. ^ "2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines Official Squads". National Rugby League. 3 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Manu shines in debut at 'home'". 28 February 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  15. ^ "2016 Holden Cup Team of the Year announced". National Rugby League. 5 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Roosters win classic Holden Cup grand final". National Rugby League. 2 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Roosters re-sign young gun Joseph Manu". 11 October 2016.
  18. ^ "2017 Downer NRL Auckland Nines squads". National Rugby League. 3 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Why Daley must look to Cordner". 14 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Panthers clinch NSWRL title". Queensland Rugby League. 25 September 2017.
  21. ^[dead link]
  22. ^ "NRL grand final 2018: Joseph Manu family, Tokoroa, Roosters v Storm". 1 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Munster slammed after dirty head-kick on Manu".
  24. ^ "NRL news 2018: New Zealand Kiwis squad v Australia, England". 1 October 2018.
  25. ^ "Australian Kangaroos v NZ Kiwis: Joseph Manu, Shaun Johnson". 13 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Sydney Roosters beat Canberra Raiders to win NRL Grand Final". BBC.
  27. ^ "Sydney Roosters are World Club champions after Manu mauls St Helens". 22 February 2020.
  28. ^ "'More than a team': Ricky's resilient Raiders keep the dream alive". 9 October 2020.
  29. ^ "Penrith Panthers cruise past last-placed Bulldogs as Roosters and Rabbitohs also win big in NRL". ABC News. 29 May 2021.
  30. ^ "Round 24 charges: Latrell cops six-game ban; Paulo, Bromwich, Flegler in strife". 31 August 2021.
  31. ^ "'What can't he do?': Manu stuns as Roosters shred Dragons; Hunt's 'Johns-like' show — 3 Big Hits".

External links[edit]