92 mins ago
Manu Vatuvei signs 3 year deal with
Giant young winger Manu Vatuvei has been signed up as a full-time Vodafone Warrior.
He made his NRL debut against South Sydney last year, going on to add another four appearances during the season.
Standing 1.89m and weighing 109kg, the Otahuhu Ellerslie Bartercard Cup player is impossible to miss on the field, prompting head coach Tony Kemp to give him the tag once reserved for a former Kiwi international who also stood out for his size.
?Manu is the new beast,? says Kemp. ?I know Kevin Iro held that tag for a while but Manu isn?t yet 19 and is the new on the block as far as the ?beast? is concerned.
?I remember sitting down at a mate?s house and watching Jonah Lomu run around for the All Blacks for the first time.
?This kid is physically in the same category as Jonah Lomu.
?He?s the fastest player at the club and he?s close to 110kg. He can carry a lot of weight at extreme speed.
?I think he will play some first-grade again this year. He didn?t look at of place last year but he probably wasn?t ready as far as his conditioning was concerned. This season he has been right up their in training.
?Winger is where I think he will start but I think he will progress through the centres and end up in the back row."
Vatuvei?s manager Peter Brown was delighted the Vodafone Warriors were able to sign the young monster so quickly after Vinnie Anderson left the club.
?It shows that the Warriors have got the right processes in place,? says Brown.
?They give opportunities to young guys when the chance arises.?
Vatuvei has the rare distinction of being a Junior Kiwi three years running. He first made the side as a 16-year-old in 2002 before backing up again in both 2003 and 2004.