Manu has good and bad news for Sydney Roosters fans

Darren Walton |

Joey Manu wants to win another premiership with the Sydney Roosters before his move to rugby union.
Joey Manu wants to win another premiership with the Sydney Roosters before his move to rugby union.

Joey Manu is making no promises he’ll return to the NRL despite Sydney Roosters fans desperately hoping the one-time world player of the year will be back as early as next season.

Manu admits he doesn’t really know where his future lies beyond his stint in Japanese rugby with Toyota Verblitz, but wants to bow out with a bang and a third premiership with the Roosters in 2024.

“I don’t even know, to be honest,” Manu said on Tuesday when asked of his grand plan.

“Obviously next year, rugby union. So that’s my main focus. I just want to focus on this season but, yeah, I haven’t really said I’m coming back.

“So once I get over there, I’m playing rugby union and I’m just going to try my best at that.

“If I enjoy it, I’ll keep a few things that I want to do.”

The New Zealand international and 2022 Golden Boot winner hopes to represent the All Blacks.

“Obviously that’s the big dream for Kiwi kids,” Manu said.

First things first, though.

Manu is well aware to pull on an All Blacks jumper he first must play Super Rugby.

But the 27-year-old rejects the notion he will use his time in Japan to place himself in the shop window for New Zealand’s five Super Rugby franchises.

“No, I think it’s just for a bit of experience, enjoying something different and also there’s some great coaches there – All Blacks, ex-All Black coaches and obviously Aaron Smith there,” Manu said.

“So I just want to get in and learn to play again. I’m not really focused on that, but just learn the sport again and get better at that.”

Asked what message he had for those Roosters fans hoping he could be back midway through 2025, Manu said: “I’m not too sure what I will do but I’ve got a few more months this year so I just want to make this year count.

“I’m not focused on next year. I’m focused on now. I really feel like we’re doing something good as a team (at the Roosters).

“So just keep going now.”

AAP