Mannering sticks with Warriors
WARRIORS skipper Simon Mannering has signed a new three-year deal with the Warriors that will see him remain at the club until at least 2015.
The announcement comes on the eve of the Warriors' season opener against Manly at Eden Park next Sunday and will see the 25-year-old second equal among the longest-serving players in the club's history.
Mannering's Warriors career will extend to 11 seasons and draw him level with Awen Guttenbeil (1996-2006). Only Stacey Jones, who had a 12-season career at Mount Smart, heads the pair.
Mannering, who was last year's Warriors Player of the Year, said it was important for him to have his contract situation settled before the season began with the grand final rematch against Manly.
"It's a bit of a relief to have this sorted out early so all the focus is on football,'' he said. "I love being at the Warriors. It's a great club to be a part of and there's plenty to be excited about for the future.
"I'm just looking forward now to starting the season. We've got such a huge game against Manly at Eden Park to start it off. It's going to be a really big day for all of us."
Coach Brian McClennan said retaining Mannering, who has played 146 NRL games for the club since his debut in 2005, was vital.
"Simon means so much to the Warriors,'' he said. "This is where it all started for him and it's so important he stays because of what he has to offer our team and our club right now and in the future."
Mannering is entering his third season as Warriors captain since taking over the role from Steve Price following the disappointing 2009 campaign. Under his leadership, the Warriors finished fifth in 2010 and were beaten grand finalists last year. He has a 28-18 win-loss record in his two years leading the side.
Last year he featured in all 28 of the team's NRL matches - one of only three players to do so - and he also played four of the Kiwis' five tests. He averaged 78 minutes a game in making a total of 32 appearances from a possible 33 elite level matches.