Nasi Manu makes emotional return to Tonga squad

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Manu missed the entire Pro 14 season for his Italian club Bennetton Treviso after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2018 and has made a remarkable recovery to be named in the national side.


The inspirational loose forward and former Highlanders captain isn’t the only name familiar to New Zealand fans to be named in the 31-man Tongan squad.

Hurricanes lock Sam Lousi has rebounded from a pectoral injury to be named in the squad for the first time alongside other newcomers Toma Taufa (prop), Otumaka Mausia (midfieler) and James Faiva (first five-eighth).

Former Chiefs star Ben Tameifuna will bolster the front row stocks while there is plenty of firepower in the backline with Siale Piutau, Cooper Vuna and Nafi Tuitavake all noted for their game-breaking abilities.

The Ikale Tahi will start their 2019 PNC against Samoa in Apia on July 27, followed by matches against Japan in Osaka and Canada at the neutral venue of Lautoka in Fiji.

Tonga play the All Blacks in Hamilton on September 7 in what will be the final outing for both sides before the Rugby World Cup. Grab your tickets HERE

Paea Fa’anunu (Castres, FR), Siegfried Fisi’ihoi (Stade Francais, FR), Toma Taufa (Bayonne, FR), Paul Ngauamo (Agen, FR), Elvis Taione (Exeter Chiefs, UK), Sefo Sakalia (Asia Pacific Dragons, SG), Ma’afu Fia (Ospreys, UK), Siua Halanukonuka (Glasgow Warriors, UK), Ben Tameifuna (Racing 92), Leva Fifita (Grenoble, FR), Onehunga Havili (Exeter Chiefs, UK), Sam Lousi (Hurricanes, NZ), Steve Mafi (Castres, FR), Zane Kapeli (Bay of Plenty, NZ), Fotu Lokotui (Kagifa Samoa, WS), Nasi Manu (Benetton Treviso, IT), Sione Vailanu (Saracens, UK), Ma’ama Vaipulu (Castres, FR)

Sami Fisilau (Auckland Marist, NZ), Leon Fukofuka (Kagifa Samoa, WS), Tane Takulua (Newcastle Falcons, UK), Otumaka Mausia (Auckland, NZ), Siale Piutau (Bristol Bears, UK), Nafi Tuitavake (Northampton Saints, UK), Viliami Lolohea (Papatoetoe, NZ), Afa Pakalani (Eastwood, AU), Cooper Vuna (Bath, UK), Tevita Halaifonua (Coventry, UK), Fetuli Paea (Tasman, NZ)

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