Got his one cap, which opened the door for a work visa to play pro rugby and then it's been club over country ever since. Quit profiling this guy until he proves himself as an Eagle.
If only things were that black and white. There are a lot of factors that have gone into his absence from the team. I don't think there is anything wrong in profiling one of America's best players.
Is the guy a mute? Can't be interviewed? Surely he can write an email or blog post about this issue. No? We never heard his side of the story. We all know clubs are forking over "perks" (cash, housing, car access, student fees for kids, etc) to tier 2 and 3 nationals to put club over country. Either he is taking these "perks" or he isn't and is just done with being an Eagle and focused only on club performance and relations.
Wish the punter the best and move on lads.i dont care if he ever plays for the eagles.They are going in the right direction with out him.
A bunch of haters. Samu is proven. A lot of great players never ever represent their countries national teams. He is doing his thing at the Saints in one of the toughest packs in the UK. Whether he comes here and represents or not shouldn't matter. Half the US team aren't even American.
Word around Franklin's Gardens is that Samu, along with a number of other Pacific Islanders in the Premiership with caps in their adopted country, are waiting for an IRB judgement on whether players can play for a second national team (assuming qualification terms are met) after getting a cap with another country. The clubs support this because they get club over country loyalty while it is being hashed out by the IRB. If all goes well for the dozens of Pacific Islanders that fall into this category, expect Samu to be wearing Tongan red at the 2015 RWC. His dad and grandad were Tongan rugby heroes on the island.
If he wanted to play for Tonga, why wouldn't he have just passed on the Eagles in the first place?
The only way for a USA citizen to get a work visa to play pro rugby is to have a cap.
That is alot of BS. Manoa is an American from California. Yes he does qualify for Tonga, but he choose to play for the Eagles instead.
This issue was brought up and resolved years ago. Once a player has played for a country and recieved a cap they are bound to that country.Manoa like alot of Tier 2 players are not being released for international duty and they are also being encouraged to rest during the off season. I would not be surprised if he misses the June Tests but make the July RWC Qualifiers.
If Tolks selects him for July! Samu may not interview, but he finds plenty of time to tweet. While I trust Curtis' inside knowledge that there may be more going on with this unit than meets the eye, I also think he got his cap to get a professional contract and is done with the Eagles. This country is long on 2nd Row & Back Row players that can represent at the highest level. The Saints need Manoa much more than the US does, allow them their prize.
quote: "The Saints need Manoa much more than the US does ..."I disagree. The US could benefit from Manoa even more than in 2011, now that he has improved with experience. Look at the video highlight clips. Or consider that Manoa was named to the espn's Aviva Premiership Dream team for the 2011/12 season. Of the other 7 forwards named to that squad, 6 are capped international players for England or South Africa. The only one of those 7 forwards who is uncapped is James Scaysbrook, who played for the English Saxons (the team that beat the US Eagles by a score of 87-8).
I think the point is that if he could play for Tonga then he would not be counted as a "foreign" player in the English Premiership, since the Pacific Islands plus a few other countries (South Africa) are treated differently than the US, Canada etc...So the Saints wouldn't have a reason to "pressure" him into not playing internationally like he has been now. He'd be able to play for an international team like George Pisi at the Saints.
USA Rugby recognized Samu first and gave him the cap. The cap got him the work visa, and the look from the Saints, so he could play in the UK. He could have gone the other route and got a Tongan passport (if possible through his grandparents), but not sure that is as easy as getting a USA cap and moving on with the visa process in the UK. Plus, he doesn't need Tongan citizenship to meet IRB rules to play for Tonga. Just needs a grandparent from the country. Google grannygate with rugby to read more about how the IRB rules affect players and where they play.
@GrantThe only back 5 Eagles playing top flight rugby (Premiership, Super 15, Top 14) is Scott L. at Stade in Paris and Samu at Saints. Eagles hardly have depth of quality in the back 5. And before you start, Clever is in the twilight of his career and playing in the soft Japan league will only buy him a year or two. Yet, the Yen he is making will buy quite a lot!
From some of the posts, it seems people are quick to conclude the worst about others, whether it is an individual like Samu, a professional club like Northampton, or the USA Eagles program. IMHO, all parties are acting reasonably and doing the best they can.1) A big reason Northampton hired Manoa was to fill in for Courtney Lawes (England lock) during the 2011 World Cup. For this reason, they wrote strong financial incentives in the contract, which effectively discouraged Manoa from playing for the Eagles. This was good business sense from Northampton. 2) Samu's choice not to play for the Eagles gave him a chance to provide financially for his family. It also has given him a chance to play rugby at a higher level.3) This post is not meant to denigrate the USA Eagles program. They are doing the best they can, with limited financial resources, in a country that does not have commercial support of the game. If the Eagles had more money, maybe they would give their players more competitive stipends.