Manu Vatuvei not giving up on league future, despite boxing switch

Former Kiwis winger Manu Vatuvei insists he hasn't retired from rugby league despite announcing a late-career switch to boxing.

Vatuvei, 32, will make his professional debut against New Zealander Dave Letele in Christchurch on December 15, on the undercard of an event headlined by leading Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker against American Alexander Flores.

The record try-scorer for the Warriors announced his intentions five months after being released from a Super League contract by English club Salford, having struggled with a leg injury.

He told reporters he is "shopping around" for another rugby league contract but his recent focus has been on boxing and he may yet see out his sporting career in the ring if he can make a fist of it.

The giant winger scored 152 tries in 226 Warriors appearances in a 14-season career which concluded last year.

He played 28 Tests for the Kiwis and two for Tonga.

Vatuvei's only boxing experience has been at corporate events and he can expect a workout against 39-year-old heavyweight Letele, who has won 16 of his 19 pro fights.

Manu Vatuvei scores a try.
Vodafone Warriors v Parramatta Eels. NRL Rugby League. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday 4 September 2016. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga /
Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei scores a try against the Parramatta Eels. Source: Photosport