Hiku admits surprise at Manly exit

New Penrith utility back Peta Hiku has acknowledged that his departure from Manly and move to the Panthers took him somewhat by surprise.

While Hiku was in England with the New Zealand national team for the Test series against England, Manly coach Trent Barrett decided that the player was now surplus to requirements at the Sea Eagles.

Hiku received a call from his manager while in transit back to Australia from Europe, explaining that he was now moving clubs.

“I couldn’t believe it. I waited to get back to Sydney and see where it went from there,” Hiku told media in New Zealand.

“At first I was disappointed. I wasn’t expecting it. It wasn’t something I wanted to happen but everything happened for a reason. Being [at Penrith] is something I’m looking forward to.”

Hiku spoke to Barrett about the situation, though, and accepted that there was too much competition in his favoured positions of full-back or centre at Manly for him to hold down a regular spot.

“I gave [Barrett] a call and had a meeting,” the player added.

“It was pretty good. I couldn’t be a centre or fullback. I had to wait a couple more years.

“[Barrett] guided me along about the decisions that would be best for me. I respect him a lot.”


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