Hull FC back rower Sika Manu has confirmed he will retire at the end of the 2019 season, ending an illustrious professional rugby league career.
And what a career it’s been. The 32-year-old has won the World Cup, the World Club Challenge, the NRL Premiership, and the Challenge Cup twice.
Manu has spent four years at Hull FC having arrived ahead of the 2016 season, and has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the club. Before that he played for Melbourne Storm and Penrith Panthers, as well as representing New Zealand and Tonga on the international stage.
Speaking to Hull FC’s official website Manu said: “It was an extremely hard decision to make because I have had an enjoyable career, especially my time here at Hull, but I feel that the time is right to hang up the boots.
“When you give your all on the field every week, giving 110%, it certainly takes its toll on your body and I have been feeling the effects of it on the training field this season.
“I have to say that coming to play for Hull FC has been a great decision because it’s a huge club with a lot of culture and a lot of history, so it’s nice that I am able to end my career here.
“It’s been an amazing journey with plenty of highs and lows along the way. I feel very lucky that I am able to finish up here at Hull FC.
“Hopefully I will be able to give the supporters one last treat before I retire. We’re still in with a chance of making the play-offs and potentially going on towards the Grand Final, so that is the aim for the rest of the season and I will give my absolute all to help the team get there.
“I’m not worried about myself. I’m more concerned about rewarding the club and the fans who have looked after me so well in the four years that I have been here.”
Out of all Lee Radford’s signings, Manu has been the fanzines favourite. He’s been immense for Hull FC, and goes down as one of the most intimidating forwards we’ve ever had.
Radford has also been a big fan. He awarded Manu as his Player of the Year in 2017.
“I think he is one of the best signings the club has made in the modern era and it will be sad to see him leave,” Radford said.
“He has enjoyed some great success with the club since joining in 2016. Obviously he had the two Challenge Cup wins, but he also got us to within touching distance of two Grand Finals and that’s something I’m sure he’ll be looking to improve on before he signs off.
“What I like so much about Sika is how he goes about his business. He’s a real student of the game – you would be if you’ve played under some of the coaches that he’s played under. He’s very easy to coach because he takes everything in.
“He’s one of those sort of players who plays the game on the edge and that’s another thing I really admire about Sika.
“I’m sure he’ll be sorely missed when he leaves us at the end of the season, leaving a similar sort of legacy as Mark Minichiello will do when he retires at the end of the year too.”