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Rugby league golden boot star set for huge code change as he eyes up new opportunity

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Thursday Feb 8, 2024

Code changes between rugby league and union are not uncommon, with many players having flitted between the two over the years.

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Huge names such as Sam Burgess, Jason Robinson, Lote Tuqiri, Jonathan Davies, Sonny Bill Williams, and many, many more have made a success of their transfers over the years. Even recently, Aussie prospect Mark Nawaqanitawase made the decision to step away from a promising career in union to focus on his league prospects.

The next big name to make the code swap appears to be the 2022 Golden Boot winner, Joey Manu. Currently doing the business for Sydney Roosters in the NRL, Manu is reportedly considering lucrative offers from both Japan and France.

Speaking to 9 News, Manu said: “I’ve been here for a long time now and the Roosters is pretty much home for me… if I’m playing rugby league, I’m here at the Roosters,

“I’m not too sure what I will end up doing, but rugby [union] is a challenge and it’s something different, something new. If I go and play rugby [union], I will be focused on rugby – not really going and coming back sort of thing. It’s the option to try and challenge myself. I think for any player, that’s where they grow as a player and a person.

“Obviously [playing for] the All Blacks would be pretty cool” the 27-year-old added. “That’s a Kiwi’s dream.”

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Manu was keen to stress that he had no interest in playing against his old teammates: “I grew up playing rugby but it’s really just a case of looking at all options and that was one that was tossed up. I’ve been at the Roosters for 10 years now. It’s been a long time and I love the place. That makes it very hard to leave but we’ll see what happens.

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“I don’t want to play against them at all. Not at all. What the club’s done for me over my career, I couldn’t do that. I appreciate all that help too much and I’ve enjoyed my time.”

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