'Awesome to share this moment with my town' – Kiwis centre Joseph Manu brings

Kiwis and Roosters centre Joseph Manu was the star attraction of the Tokoroa Christmas parade, as he and club teammate Zane Tetevano brought the NRL’s Provan-Summons trophy to their hometown.

After a breakout year in the NRL, 22-year old Manu has brought the NRL trophy home for Christmas celebrations in his hometown, with the Tokoroa faithful happy to celebrate with their favourite son.

Speaking to 1 NEWS at the parade, Manu opened up about what the support from his hometown means to both himself and Tetevano.

“It’s pretty crazy, driving down the main street and seeing the whole town,” he began.

“It’s just awesome to share this moment with my town and with Zane.

“We’re just soaking it up, it’s been an awesome year, and just to be back home with the family and the whole town, it’s been awesome.”

Manu also said that he was hopeful that bringing the Provan-Summons trophy home can inspire the next generation of Kiwi stars to one day compete at the highest level in the same way that he has.

“If I had this when I was a kid, I think I’d be stoked.

“A lot of kids don’t really get much here, we don’t really have too much in town, all we really know is sports and family.

“To bring one of the biggest prizes in the NRL is massive for the town. I hope they really cherish this and just enjoy this moment with us.”

While Manu’s homecoming may be a delight for Tokoroa as a whole, the Kiwis centre also revealed that he used his time back in New Zealand was used to visit his terminally ill grandmother.

“My nan’s been sick, she was meant to pass away a few weeks ago.

“She’s fighting strong, she’s probably the toughest lady I know. They took this (the trophy) up there. I know it strengthened her.

“I’m just really grateful and really blessed. I have to thank the heavenly father for blessing my family and blessing my nan, she’s been fighting strong. I wish her all the best and hopefully I’ll be back down there next week.

“I know she really enjoyed it, it’ll be awesome.”