Mannering to lead Vodafone Warriors again
Wednesday 16 January 2013 3:05 PM
Simon Mannering has today been confirmed to extend his Vodafone Warriors captaincy reign to a fourth NRL season, leaving him on track to become the longest-serving skipper in the club’s history.
New head coach Matthew Elliott said a decision about Mannering’s continuation in the role had been announced to the players while they were in camp in Hamilton late last week.
“Simon’s an absolutely logical choice for the job,” said Elliott.
“He’s mutually respected and admired by all the players and staff for the quality he brings to our club as a leader and a player. He’s a person of strong character and a wonderful work ethic.
“It was always my intention that the announcement would be made close to us beginning our trials (the first is against Gold Coast on February 9).
“There was no need to rush it. It was all about working through a full process and making an informed decision for the right reasons. We’ve all had time together to reach this point.”
Mannering, the club’s youngest captain when he was appointed as a 23-year-old in late 2009, welcomed the opportunity to have a fourth season in charge.
“It was a massive honour when I was first offered the job and that feeling hasn’t changed,” he said.
“I’m privileged to lead the Vodafone Warriors every time we play but being captain isn’t about what’s best for me. It’s about what suits the team best. It’s the same for all of us.”
Still only 26, Mannering has already clocked up 165 appearances since his NRL debut as an 18-year-old in 2005, more than any other player in the squad; he has also played 30 Tests for the Kiwis.
After playing his 100th NRL game in the final match of the 2009 season, Mannering was appointed to lead the club in 2010. His total of 65 matches as captain leaves him behind only Steve Price, who led the Vodafone Warriors 91 times from 2005 to 2009.
Mannering’s appointment comes with the Vodafone Warriors’ trials programme beginning in just 23 days.
The schedule starts against Gold Coast at Pizzey Park, Burleigh Heads, on Saturday, February 9 (5.15pm kick-off local time), the same day the NRL year is kick-started with the annual NRL All Stars v Indigenous All Stars match, this year being played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane for the first time (7.00pm kick-off local time).
A week later the Vodafone Warriors have their first trial of the year in New Zealand – and their only one in the North Island – when they meet Penrith at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday, February 16 (4.00pm kick-off) while their final 2013 trial is against Brisbane at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday, February 23 (7.30pm kick-off), the first time NRL football has ever been played in Dunedin.
The Gold Coast trial will be Matthew Elliott’s first game as Vodafone Warriors head coach and may also provide an opportunity for ex-Titans centre-winger Dominique Peyroux to make his Vodafone Warriors debut against his former club.
On the same day Feleti Mateo and Dane Nielsen will be playing in the NRL All Stars-Indigenous All Stars match in Brisbane.
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