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Saturday Sep 4, 2021

WATCH: Classic Manoa smash rattles Twelvetrees in 2014 season opener

Back in 2014 Northampton number eight Samu Manoa put in a monstrous hit on former England centre Billy Twelvetrees during a Premiership game against Gloucester.

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Midway through the first half of the opening game of the 20014/15 season the United States back rower smashed Twelvetrees with a huge tackle, sending the ball 20 metres back down field.

While the challenge would almost certainly be considered high by today’s standards, the collision sent Saints fans wild at Franklin’s Gardens.

After making the dominant tackle, Manoa gave the Gloucester centre a little shove to the ground for his troubles and things went from bad to worse for Twelvetrees in the following phase.

Possibly still shook up by the massive tackle, he attempted a grubber kick from first receiver but the ball went straight into the arms of Saints scrum half Lee Dickson.

This tackle from Manoa set a precedent for the match with Saints going on to cruise to a 53-6 win in front of their home fans while Wales star George North bagged himself a hat trick.

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Twelvetrees made 22 appearances for England over a two-year period under head coach Stuart Lancaster and was called up as injury cover on the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia.

Manoa meanwhile matched Twelvetrees’ International record with 12 caps for the USA Eagles and now plays his club rugby for the Seattle Seawolves at the tender age of 36. Standing at 6ft 6” and weighing almost 130kg he was one of the mot destructive ball carriers in the Premiership.

Following a successful spell with Northampton he joined Toulon where he made 55 appearances in total and played for the Barbarians in 2013 against the Lions in Hong Kong. At 

Saints actually went on to top the Premiership table in the 2014/15 season but lost to Saracens in the semi-final 24-29.

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