Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Joseph Manu’s future was well and truly up in the air until late December as rumours circulated that the New Zealand International was looking for a move away from the Sydney Roosters to pursue a full-time role in either the fullback or five-eighth position.
At one point it seemed like Manu was going to join the Warriors on a multi-million dollar deal next year and play alongside Shaun Johnson in the halves but the 25-year-old decided to remain loyal to the tricolours when he extended his stay at the club until the end of 2024.
Manu has filled in at fullback and in the halves before to a great amount of success and one could argue that he would be playing in either role if at any of the bottom eight teams in the competition.
It is for that reason so many people believed he would leave the Roosters at the end of 2022, but in a recent interview with Fox Sports’ James Hooper, Manu revealed that he has been given a license to roam infield and assist in the halves or at fullback during games.
Sticky has re-signed a boom backrower after losing Ryan Sutton 👀
While a Roosters gun have been given a license to roam 🔥
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) March 10, 2022
“I’ll play that roaming role,” said Manu.
“I think that’s the way the game’s sort of going with the style it’s played now.
“The way it’s heading you play how you play and it doesn’t matter what position you are.
“For me I’ve played a few positions and I’ll play wherever. I just want to play my style of footy wherever I am.”
We last saw Manu on an NRL field last August when his cheekbone was fractured by former teammate and friend Latrell Mitchell in a dangerous tackle during the latest installment of the Roosters rivalry with the Rabbitohs.
Manu revealed to Channel Nine’s Danny Weidler last week that he and Mitchell had since made up and moved on from the incident, which would have undoubtedly helped Manu mentally recover and prepare for his return this coming Saturday against the Newcastle Knights at the Sydney Cricket Ground to kick off the Roosters 2022 NRL campaign.
This game will be a great opportunity for Manu to adjust to his new role.