Manu seals Japanese rugby union move, Eels sign Lomax

Jasper Bruce |

Zac Lomax will wear the blue and gold of Parramatta next season after signing a four-year deal.
Zac Lomax will wear the blue and gold of Parramatta next season after signing a four-year deal.

Joey Manu has left the door ajar to return to the Sydney Roosters in 2025 after signing a year-long deal with Japanese rugby union side Toyota Verblitz.

Manu’s exit has been on the cards for months with the Roosters and Verblitz, who boast former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen among their staff, finally confirming the move on Tuesday.

The New Zealand international will leave the Tricolours at the end of the 2024 NRL season.

“I have cherished my time playing rugby league for the Roosters, so it’s been a tough decision to leave the club and NRL,” Manu said.

“I will always be grateful to wear the Roosters jersey and to everyone who has supported me and provided me with some incredible opportunities.”

Confirmation of Manu’s exit for the 15-man game comes soon after Zac Lomax sealed a four-year contract with Parramatta.

Lomax’s frustrations at being shifted to the wing have permeated the St George Illawarra’s season thus far, but he will not be permitted to leave until the end of the current campaign.

“Zac is a great talent and we’re confident he will be an invaluable addition to our team,” said Parramatta chief executive Jim Sarantinos.

Lomax has been one of the Dragons’ best players in an inconsistent first season under Shane Flanagan, most recently starring in Sunday’s 24-12 defeat of Wests Tigers.

Zac Lomax.
Zac Lomax touches down early in the Dragons’s win at Campbelltown Stadium. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

But despite excelling at right wing, Lomax has been firm that centre is his position of choice.

The Dragons are understood not to be contributing any of Lomax’s salary going forward after being reluctant to cut him loose from the final two years of his deal.

Meanwhile, the Dragons have also secured the services of utility Nu Brown after he was released by Super League club Hull FC last week.