Simon Mannering being kept busy during the players' signing session at the Vodafone Warriors' hugely successful 2013 season launch carnival at Ngati Otara Park yesterday. An estimated 5000 fans attended the three-hour event. Photo: Photosport.


Simon Mannering has today become the third Vodafone Warriors player named to lead his club and country in the same year.


Mannering has been charged with leading the side when they travel to the United Kingdom later in the year to defend the Rugby League World Cup they won for the first time when beating Australia 34-20 at Suncorp Stadium in 2008.


His first duty as Kiwi captain will be this years Anzac Test at Canberra Stadium on April 19.


He takes over from Benji Marshall, who equalled the Kiwis record for Test appearances as captain when led the national side a record-equalling 19th time in last seasons Test against the Kangaroos in Townsville.


Mannering follows Matthew Ridge and Stacey Jones who previously captained the Vodafone Warriors and the Kiwis at the same time.


Im humbled to have the opportunity to lead my country, said Mannering.


Its the highest honour in our game and one Im privileged to be given.


Mannering goes into the 2013 season with more NRL appearances than any other player in the Vodafone Warriors squad. Still only 26, he has already played 165 NRL games and has also represented New Zealand in 30 Tests.


He made his Kiwi debut in the 2006 Tri Nations, only his second season in the NRL.