Medicine, family of athletes, New Zealand…, discovery of Manai Philo, captain of the Blue Team

Medicine, family of athletes, New Zealand…, discovery of Manai Philo, captain of the Blue Team

Mana Filo leads its partners against the New Zealanders last October in Wellington.
Joe Sergey / SPP / SPP / Panoramic

The second row of the French women's team will try to lead their teammates to a Grand Slam on Saturday in Bordeaux (5:45 p.m.).

She is studying medicine

Manai Velo (24 years old) continues his impressive medical studies alongside his sporting career. Mujtahid, second year and captain of the French team, currently in the fifth year. After studying at high school in New Zealand, Philo decided to come to France and Dijon where she chose to study medicine and continued to grow. So far, the Grenoble player has been able to manage her schedule, between the rugby fields and internal training in the hospital.

Sports of course

Originally from Wallis and Futuna, Manai Filo was born into an athletic family. His parents were college physical education teachers, but most importantly of all his mother competed in the heptathlon at a high level and his father was a decathlon specialist. Given her passion for athletics and sports in general, the young woman finally chose to play rugby at the age of 11 before her sister Tiani (21), also an international player (on the bench on Saturday against the Red Roses), followed suit.

New Zealand before France

More than 3,000 kilometers away from his parents, Manai Velu, at the age of 14, decided to try his luck in New Zealand. “It is a part of my life that made me grow and gain independence. I learned a lot of things about myself and the world during this period.”Grenobloise, declared France Bleu. She trained with Havelock North Rugby Club, in the east of the country, before facing a difficult final year of high school marked by a year off after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament.

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Olympic calm

“She's a bit of a reserved girl but she always knows how to speak at the right time. She always has the right words. Everyone thought she gave something away when she spoke. We wanted to listen to her. She's very calm, very collected.”, recently confided in his colleague Roman Menager. Analysis shared by Gael Hermit, former captain and CEO of the Blues: “She brings us so much serenity. Manae is a quiet force. She is calm, and we want to follow her.”

Captain of the Blue Team during the 2022 tournament at the Alps Stadium in Grenoble.
Stephane Billaud / Panoramic

Duty player

Despite his athletic profile (1m79, 81kg) and “a light” Given her position, Manae Feleu is a warrior, in the purest tradition of the Polynesians. “She brings a lot to the fight, she is a player who steps forward and works from the shadows. We need her all the time.”, scrum-half Pauline Bourdon-Sansus advances. But the Grenoble player is also quick and very skilled with the ball in his hand. The New Zealand School has clearly paid off…

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