Manu Samoa an option for Jordan Taufua
Leceister Tigers loose forward, Jordan Taufua, has dropped the biggest hint yet that he is considering a future in Manu Samoa's blue jersey.
The 27-year-old former Samoa Under-20 representative has made a big impact for his new English club having moved from New Zealand province Tasman after their 2019 Mitre 10 Cup triumph.
The Samoa Observer understands he was on the Manu Samoa’s wishlist of recruitments for last year’s Rugby World Cup, and in an interview with The Rugby Paper’s Neale Harvey, Taufua acknowledged the possibility of an international career.
“I am still eligible for Samoa so we’ll see what happens,” Taufua said.
Raised in New Zealand by Samoan parents, Taufua was selected by the All Blacks in 2018, but injury prevented him from ever playing in the famous black jersey.
That means he remains available to play for either nation, with the move to England seemingly closing the door on representing New Zealand for good.
“I’m just concentrating on giving my all for Leicester,” Taufua told Harvey.
“It would be amazing to win championships in both hemispheres, but first it’s about smaller steps.”
The loose forward won three Super Rugby titles in a seven-season spell at the Crusaders, and would perhaps bring back a winning mindset to the Manu if he were to join former teammate Michael Alaalatoa in opting to represent the country of his heritage.
However if Taufua wanted to play for Manu Samoa at all, it is unclear why he wouldn’t have joined the 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign, having fallen off the All Blacks radar.
The same can be said of another internationally uncapped Super Rugby leaver in Melani Nanai.
The 26-year-old outside back also left New Zealand rugby in 2019 to take up a contract with Worcester.
Nanai, who was born and bred in Samoa, also represented Samoa U20s before excelling at the Blues.
The Samoa Observer understands he and clubmate Michael Fatialofa (who is in hospital after suffering a devastating neck injury) were both in demand for the Manu’s World Cup campaign as well.