Jim Mallinder - Northampton Saints Director of Rugby

Northampton Saints today announced the signing of US Eagles forward Samu Manoa ahead of the 2011/12 season.

Twenty-six-year-old Manoa stands at 6 feet 6 inches and weighs in at 122kgs. He has one international cap to his name, won against Georgia last November, but has played for the Eagles in a number of non-cap matches, including against Saracens in September 2010.

He comes from Concord, California, and plays for San Francisco Golden Gate RFC, winning the National Super League Championships.

Manoa, who can also play lock and in the back row, has also played club rugby in New Zealand and last October scored the winning try for the Eagles in their win over Tonga ‘A’, his ancestral home, and followed that up with a score against Argentina Jaguars five days later.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that while not many people may have heard of Manoa at the moment he had the potential to impress next season. “We have been impressed by what we have seen of Samu,” he said. “He is physical, has good ball skills and an outstanding turn of pace for a big man. He is also eager to make the most of his opportunity in England and wants to succeed in the Premiership. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do in the Saints environment.”