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Manu cleared of knee injury to lead Tonga against Kangaroos

Inspirational Tonga captain Sika Manu has been cleared of a serious knee injury to lead a powerful Mate Ma'a side in the historic October 20 Test against Australia at Mt Smart Stadium.

Manu missed the end of the Super Eights with Hull FC after suffering medial ligament damage in the September 20 defeat of St Helens and it was initially believed he would be unavailable for the Mate Ma'a.

However, Tonga coach Kristian Woolf named Manu in a 19-man squad for the Test, of which Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake is the only player not to have played for the Mate Ma'a in last year's World Cup.

South Sydney winger Robert Jennings and Warriors forward Leivaha Pulu will also join the Tonga camp in Hamilton as development players.

"To be able to have Sika Manu in as a leader for this squad is a big plus," Woolf said.

"This group has shown a commitment to their country of heritage and we are pleased with the calibre of the squad we have been able to name.

"We realise there is a huge challenge ahead of us in player the current World Cup holders, so we are extending every resource we can to give this challenge our absolute best effort."

Tonga's Addin Fonua-Blake and Jason Taumalolo.
Tonga's Addin Fonua-Blake and Jason Taumalolo. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The Tonga squad will travel to New Zealand next week for a pre-match camp in Hamilton before establishing themselves in Auckland in the week of the Test.

Tonga: Andrew Fifita – Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 
Addin Fonua-Blake – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
David Fusitu'a – Warriors
Siliva Havilli – Canberra Raiders
Ata Hingano – Canberra Raiders
Will Hopoate – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Konileti Hurrell – Gold Coast Titans
Michael Jennings – Parramatta Eels
Solomone Kata – Warriors
Sione Katoa – Penrith Panthers
Tuimoala Lolohea – Wests Tigers
Sika Manu – Hull FC
Ben Murdoch-Masilla – Warrington Wolves
Joe Ofahengaue – Brisbane Broncos
Tevita Pangai jnr – Brisbane Broncos
Jason Taumalolo – North Qld Cowboys
Siosiua Taukeiaho – Sydney Roosters
Peni Terepo – Parramatta Eels
Daniel Tupou – Sydney Roosters
Coach: Kristian Woolf
Development players: Robert Jennings (South Sydney Rabbitohs) and Leivaha Pulu (Warriors)

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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