Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
by Ted Hardy, Editor, Rugby America
San Francisco Golden Gate and USA Eagles No. 8/Second Row Samu Manoa has signed a contract to join the Northampton Saints, in the English Premiership, next season.
Manoa, born in Concord, California, began his rugby career at age 13 and got his big opportunity this past summer when he played for the USA Select XV in the American Rugby Championship in Argentina. His work in the tournament included a try against Tonga A and got him noticed by USA Eagles Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan and earned him an invite on the Eagles November tour to Europe.
The 26 year old Manoa got his first taste of action for the Eagles against Saracens in a non-cap match, but obtained his first International appearance against Georgia later in the tour. Manoa is expected to be among the pack players that are selected for the USA squad for the World Cup.
Manoa has previously played club rugby in New Zealand and has been a major contributor with San Francisco Golden Gate in the USA Rugby Super League.
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder believes the 6ft 6in Manoa can make a big impact next season.
“We have been impressed by what we have seen of Samu,” he said.
“He is physical, has good ball skills and an outstanding turn of pace for a big man. He is also eager to make the most of his opportunity in England and wants to succeed in the Premiership. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do in the Saints environment.”