Since playing his first professional game of rugby when the Saints faced Gloucester on the opening day of the 2011/12 season, Samu Manoa has racked up an unparalleled amount of honours and awards with the club.
It is hard to remember a player who has had as much of an impact on the Saints in recent years – or the Aviva Premiership for that matter.
After just one season in English rugby’s top flight, the huge hitting second row was included in the Premiership Dream Team and won the first of back-to-back Supporters’ Player of the Season awards at the Gardens..
After playing 36 out of 39 matches in the 2013/14 season, he was shortlisted for the Aviva Premiership’s Player of the Season, narrowly losing out to Harlequins full-back Mike Brown.
Born in Concord, California and from Tongan descent, the US Eagle joined the club from San Francisco Golden Gate, with whom he won the National Super League Championship in 2009.
In his final game for the Golden Gate, Samu showed his nose for the tryline, opening the scoring as his side claimed the title once more.
In 2013, Samu became one of only three Americans to be invited to play for the Barbarians, and was included in the line-up against the British & Irish Lions alongside fellow Saints scrum-half, Kahn Foutali’i.