Samu Manoa re-signed with the Seattle Seawolves for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 37-year-old lock/back row (38 in March) is 6’6″ and 270 lbs.
Samu played 1365 minutes in 14 matches, starting 11, for the Seawolves in 2022. In 2021 he played 374 minutes in 7 starts and scored one try with the Seawolves. Samu also was with the Seawolves in 2019, playing 260 minutes in six matches, starting four.
Samu is from Concord, California, but spent several years in Tonga and then Hawaii in his youth. He played rugby for San Francisco Golden Gate from 2003-2011, winning the Super League titles in 2009 and 2011, with the team runners-up in 2010.
Samu signed a contract with the Northampton Saints in the English Premiership and played with the team from 2011-2015. In his first season, he was named by ESPN to the Premiership Dream Team. In the 2012-2013 and 13-14 seasons, he was named Northampton Saints Player of the Year by their Supporters. In the latter year, he was on a shortlist for The Rugby Player’s Association and the Premiership for Player of the Year honors. In 2014 the team won the Premiership Championship over the Saracens.
He then signed a four-year contract with Toulon in the Top 14 league. The length of the contract was a first for the club. In Summer of 2018, he signed with the Cardiff Blues in PRO14 making seven appearances before receiving a compassionate release to return to California where his wife and five children were living.
Samu played for the USA National team Select and A-side from 2009-2010, including in the Americas Rugby Championship. He made his debut for the Eagles on November 27, 2010, against Georgia and the last of his 22 tests was against Ireland on November 24, 2018. Twenty of the appearances were starts. He played in the 2015 Rugby World Cup but missed the 2011 one as he felt he needed to be with the Northampton Saints.
Samu also played with the Barbarians in 2013 where he debuted against the Lions in Hong Kong.
Samu is one of the best players to have worn a USA jersey and he is loyal to the teams he has played for. His leadership and prowess as a player will be invaluable for the Seattle Seawolves in 2021.