New Zealand head coach Michael Maguire has labelled Joseph Manu a “special player” after the international full-back won the Kiwis Player of the Year award for 2022.
Manu, 26, won the Men’s Golden Boot award during the recent World Cup, having helped his side reach the semi-finals before being knocked out by eventual-winners Australia.
The Sydney Roosters centre impressed at full-back on the international stage, and was named in the Men’s Team of the Tournament, selected by pundits, former players and journalists.
Manu was named as New Zealand’s Player of the Year earlier this week. Raecene McGregor won the Kiwi Ferns Player of the Year. She also picked up the Women’s Golden Boot award in 2022.
Joseph Manu a “special player” says coach
“Joey is a special player and has made his mark as one of the best in the world,” said Maguire.
“In a year that’s seen him take home a Dally M, a Golden Boot and now the Player of the Year for his country, he’s well on his way to becoming one of the great Kiwi players.”
On McGregor, Kiwi Ferns’ head coach Ricky Henry said: “Rae is one of those rare players, a leader and a playmaker who’s the best in her position.
“Having her in our campaigns gave the girls a lot of confidence. Her ability to manage a game effectively and make players around her play well are special talents. She’s had a fantastic year and I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”
McGregor also claimed the women’s 2022 Dally M award Down Under. The playmaker led the Kiwi Ferns to the World Cup final, losing to the Australian Jillaroos at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Dylan Brown was named as Rookie of the Year for New Zealand. Ronaldo Mulitalo won the Kiwis Junior Player of the Year.