SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 07: Tevita Funa of the Sea Eagles passes the ball out during the round 13 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the New Zealand Warriors at Lottoland on August 07, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Manly Sea Eagles' outside back Tevita Funa will feature in rugby union during 2022.

The 23-year-old winger and fullback has officially signed a one-year contract with the New South Wales Waratahs after failing to break into the Manly top 17 during 2021.

Funa was a talented youngster who was tipped for big things in the NRL, having played a staring role in the Sea Eagles under-20s premiership victory in 2017.

He took out the Sea Eagles' 2020 rookie of the year after scoring five tries in 12 games for the club, but then only made four appearances in 2021, with two of those coming off the bench, and one out of position at five-eighth.

The Fairfield-born outside back was used as a stop-gap measure by coach Des Hasler, and him seeking a change may not be all that surprising.

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According to a Waratahs' statement, Funa will attempt to turn himself into a fullback in the 15-man game, but could also play in the centres or wing, while he is also noted as a talented goal kicker.

Funa said in the statement that he had played rugby union when he was younger and was looking forward to the fresh challenge.

“I’m really excited about the challenge of changing codes and the chance for a fresh start. I played rugby when I was younger so am hoping that will help me with the adjustment,” Funa said.

“The Waratahs are one of the most iconic teams in rugby and I’m thankful for the opportunity they have given me.

“I’d love to chance my arm at fullback, but equally am happy to play on the wing or in the centres, I just love to get the ball in hand.”

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