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This weekend’s Super League Final will be the last game for Samu Manoa in an SFGG jersey for some time, perhaps ever.

Manoa has signed a contract with Northampton in England’s Aviva Premiership, and will begin training with that club in July.

It’s a huge turn of events for Manoa, who is now about to enter the rarified world of a professional athlete.

“There are certain things you look at when you are a coach – personal things, things related to the club, and then there are things you remember about the players,” said SFGG Head Coach Paul Keeler. “What’s happened with Samu is very gratifying. We are very happy for him and it’s a good contract, and somehow at the club you feel vindicated for all the work you put in to develop the players. He’s a great athlete and while we’re going to be sad when he plays his last game, it’s a great thing for him.”

It is likely that Manoa will not be selected for the USA squad to the Churchill Cup, not because he has been playing poorly – far from it – but because the lock/No. 8 is just about to join his new club, and USA Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan concluded the best thing for Manoa would be for him to be in the best position to succeed. And to do that he should have June off before he joins the Saints.

Manoa is expected to continue to challenge for a spot on the Eagles World Cup Squad, and will be released by Northampton should he be selected.