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Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Prop Manu commits future to Fiji

Deacon Manu
Deacon Manu is in his fourth season playing for the Scarlets

The Scarlets have wished their tight-head prop Deacon Manu well with Fiji, despite their disappointment at his choice of international future.

New Zealand-born Maori international Manu, 30, has a Fijian mother and was eligible for Wales by residency.

He is set to face Scotland for Fiji on Saturday, although he is set to miss later games against Ireland and Romania as his wife is expecting a child.

"All the best to [Deacon with Fiji]," said Scarlets team manager Garan Evans.

"It's a great opportunity for him to play international rugby, he saw his future there. It's unfortunate for us and for Wales."

Scarlets coach Nigel Davies said last month that Wales had shown interest in Manu, a move that was heavily hinted at in the media.


But Wales coach Warren Gatland said that any move for the player, who has been at the Llanelli-based side since 2006, was not instigated by him.

"It was discussed in the media about Deacon Manu," said the New Zealander. "I haven't spoken to Deacon, I never even raised that issue.

"We could have given Deacon one or two caps... I don't think that's fair on him or young Welsh players."

Manu was named in the Fiji squad to tour Europe, days after saying it would be a "huge honour" to be called up by Wales.

But that prompted Davies to say that the issue was not settled and that the Scarlets would prefer he opted for Wales or, even better, chose not to pursue an international career.

"Obviously we don't want to raise our quota of non-Welsh qualified players, but ultimately it's not our choice," said Davies last month.

"It's his decision, obviously we have our own agenda, but ultimately we'll support whatever [he decides]."

Fiji's tour of Europe sees them face Scotland on 14 November, Ireland on 21 November and Romania on 28 November.

"We're delighted Deacon Manu has finally put his hand up for Fiji, look around there's no better tight-head prop than him available to represent Fiji," said Fiji selector Mosese Taga after picking the prop in his squad.

"It's a very crucial position and if we want to win our own balls we need a good tight-head otherwise we'll continue to struggle to win our own ball."

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see also
Wales choose home-based stalwarts
25 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Front row duo stick at Scarlets
02 Apr 08 |  Scarlets
Scarlets secure Maori prop Manu
03 Jun 06 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Fire and flair: Fijian rugby
29 Sep 06 |  Rugby Union

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