Manu keen to go out on a high

Date published: June 19 2015

Highlanders number eight Nasi Manu is keen to go out on a high when his side host the Chiefs in their finals series clash in Dunedin on Saturday.

The 26-year-old is set to play in what will probably be his final home match for the Highlanders and hopes it finishes better than his first one for the franchise, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury after just five minutes back in 2010.

Manu is on his way to Edinburgh when the season ends, after signing a two-year deal with the Pro12 club.

He returns to the Highlanders matchday squad after missing thier past four matches with a shoulder injury. He admitted that his preparations were different for the play-offs with the knowledge that it could be his last game for the Highlanders.

''I do know it is my last [home] game and it is a bit more emotional," Manu told the Otago Daily News.

"But for me it is about the challenge and just doing my role.

''Leaving and that, I try not to think about it that much. This is my home and I'm just so stoked the boys got two wins while I was away and got us a home playoff.''

Manu said the Highlanders played great rugby during his spell on the sidelines, including the dominant 36-9 victory over the Chiefs in Invercargill.

''We can take a little bit of confidence into the game from beating them," he added.

"But I guess play-off rugby is a totally different game. Both teams are going to be at their absolute best. It is going to be about executing their game plans and whatever team does that the best will come out on top.

''Play-offs are a little bit more special. There are no guarantees on next week so there is a little bit more edge. So I think this game is going to be huge.''