Mate Ma‘a Tonga coach praises squad, names Sika Manu captain for clash with Australia

Tongan captain Sika Manu will lead Mate Ma’a Tonga against Australia on October 20 after being cleared of a serious knee injury.

The on-again off-again match will finally happen when the two sides take the field at Mt Smart stadium.

Manu damaged ligaments while playing for Hull FC against St Helens.

It was thought his injury would rule him out of the Mt Smart match, with Hull coach Lee Radford saying he would not play for the rest of the season.

However, Tongan coach Kristian Woolf has named Manu in the 19 man squad for the test.

Woolf said being able to bring back Sika as captain was “a big plus.”

Manu, 31, has played 11 tests for the Mate Ma’a since switching his allegiance from New Zealand in 2013.

Woolf said he was pleased with the calibre of the squad who would face Australia.

“We realise there is a huge challenge ahead of us in player the current World Cup holders, so we are extending every resource we can to give this challenge our absolute best effort,” he said.

The Tonga squad will travel to New Zealand next week for a pre-match camp in Hamilton before basing themselves in Auckland in the week of the Test.

Woolf has named the followings squad for Mate Ma’a Tonga:

Andrew Fifita – Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Addin Fonua-Blake – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

David Fusitu’a – Warriors

Siliva Havilli – Canberra Raiders

Ata Hingano – Canberra Raiders

Will Hopoate – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Konileti Hurrell – Gold Coast Titans

Michael Jennings – Parramatta Eels

Solomone Kata – Warriors

Sione Katoa – Penrith Panthers

Tuimoala Lolohea – Wests Tigers

Sika Manu – Hull FC

Ben Murdoch-Masilla – Warrington Wolves

Joe Ofahengaue – Brisbane Broncos

Tevita Pangai jnr – Brisbane Broncos

Jason Taumalolo – North Qld Cowboys

Siosiua Taukeiaho – Sydney Roosters

Peni Terepo – Parramatta Eels

Daniel Tupou – Sydney Roosters

Coach: Kristian Woolf

Development players: Robert Jennings (South Sydney Rabbitohs) and Leivaha Pulu (Warriors)

The main points

  • Tongan captain Sika Manu will lead Mate Ma’a Tonga against Australia on October 20 after being cleared of a serious knee injury.
  • It was thought he would not be able to play against Australia before coach Kristian Woolf named him in the 19 man squad for the test.
  • Woolf said being able to bring back sika as captain was “a big plus.”

For more information

Manu cleared of knee injury to lead Tonga

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