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Monday, April 15, 2024

Michael Jennings cleared to end 1266-day NRL exile with Sydney Roosters

“There’s a desire to rewrite his story,” Robinson said after Jennings impressed at NSW Cup level to start the season, confirming also that Luke Keary is in line to return from his 11-day concussion stand down next Thursday against Penrith.

“There was a carrot there to get his life and career back on track and that was himself but also through the Roosters.

“I didn’t feel like he was done, he didn’t feel like he was done, but he’s had to work for it … We know we’ve got that [depth] but we like to think some of them might be missing at different times as well throughout the year. ”

Joey Manu and Joseph Suaalii would both be welcome back at the Roosters.

Joey Manu and Joseph Suaalii would both be welcome back at the Roosters.Credit: James Brickwood/SMH

While centre Billy Smith is ahead of Jennings in the Roosters’ pecking order, the club is preparing for life without Suaalii and Manu next season as they embark on multi-million dollar rugby moves.

Manu confirmed he is in negotiations with Japanese rugby outfit Toyota Verblitz, coached by All Blacks World Cup winner Steve Hansen, with the length of any contract still being worked through.

The prospect of Manu returning to the Roosters, potentially as early as 2025, has been suggested, though the Kiwi star is targeting at least a two-year stint in the 15-man code.

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Robinson and Roosters boss Nick Politis have both stressed that Manu and Suaalii would be welcome back at the club, with Politis telling Nine News late last year: “It’s sad that we’ve lost [Suaalii] to union, but he tells us he’s coming back in 2028.”

There is plenty of water to pass under the bridge before then, not least the Roosters’ salary cap situation, Mark Nawaqanitawase’s arrival from rugby and interest in rising Waratahs star Max Jorgensen.

But Manu said he would like to reunite with Suaalii at the Roosters in the future.

“It would be cool to play next to him, hopefully down the line, hopefully at the Roosters,” Manu said. “This club’s given me a lot. I’m not too sure how everything will work out but yeah, hopefully.

“Now that I’ve been making this rugby decision I have had little chats with him and seen the way he’s thinking. Just because we’re on the same path there, slightly different too, but we are having chats. Obviously, he’s going back for a while there and I think he’ll be great in rugby.”

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