Experienced back-rower Sika Manu was recruited by the Black and Whites ahead of the 2016 season.
Kiwi powerhouse Manu was a part of the World Cup winning New Zealand team in 2008 in only the second year of the then 21-year-old’s senior career.
At club level, Melbourne Storm’s side of 2009 were a sight to behold and Manu was a key part of their success that season until a devastating blow came in round 21 against St. George-Illawarra Dragons.
A leg injury ended his season and ultimately caused him to miss the Grand Final victory, which was later stripped from the Storm for a breach of the salary cap rules.
The following year, Manu was again selected for the Kiwis and came off the bench in the 2010 ANZAC test against Australia.
In 2012, Manu caught the eye of Penrith Panthers, who announced the signing of the second-rower on a three-year deal.
Before Manu left for Penrith, he finally got to play in a Premiership decider. The 2012 NRL Grand Final between Melbourne Storm and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs saw the Purple Pride earn a 14-4 win at the ANZ Stadium, with Manu contributing from the interchange.
In 2013, Manu made his debut for Tonga against Pacific Island rivals Samoa and he was also a part of Tonga’s 2013 World Cup squad, alongside former Melbourne teammate and future Hull FC teammate, Mahe Fonua.
He later captained Tonga in a narrow Polynesian Cup defeat to Samoa in 2016.
Manu gained huge praises from head coach Lee Radford after a terrific first season.