Testimonial lunch for 10-season veterans

Veteran Vodafone Warriors Manu Vatuvei and Jerome Ropati will be the joint beneficiaries of a double testimonial luncheon at the Ellerslie Event Centre on Thursday, July 25.


Organised by Sir Peter Leitch and the Mad Butcher Suburban Newspapers Community Trust, the luncheon will honour Vatuvei and Ropati as the two newest members of the Vodafone Warriors 10-season club.



Ropati (28), who made his debut in 2003, appeared in his 10th NRL season last year. Hes one of only six players to score 50 NRL tries for the club, his tally now 51 in 140 games.


Vatuvei (27) is now in his 10th NRL season after making his debut in 2004. The clubs try-scoring record holder, he is once again top of the charts this season as he has been every season since 2007. His two tries in Mondays 56-18 win against Brisbane lifted his tally to eight in eight games this year, boosting his career total to 110 in 160 matches. With 440 points all from tries he is now third on the Vodafone Warriors all-time points-scoring list behind only goal-kickers Stacey Jones (674) and James Maloney (547).


We want people to come along to honour Manu and Jerome for everything theyve done for the Vodafone Warriors, said Sir Peter.


Its a first doing a double testimonial so its going to be a really special day.

Previously Sir Peter has organised testimonial luncheons for Jones, Awen Guttenbeil and Lance Hohaia, the only other players to have appeared in 10 NRL seasons for the Vodafone Warriors. Jones 261-game career incorporated 12 seasons in all 1995-2005 and 2009 while Guttenbeil played 170 games across 11 seasons from 1996-2006 and Hohaia 185 games from 2002-2011.


Wairangi Koopu (159 games) and Logan Swann (195) each played in nine NRL seasons for the Vodafone Warriors, Koopu 1999 and 2001-2008 and Swann 1997-2003 and 2007-2008.


Captain Simon Mannering is set for his 10th NRL season in 2014 and prop Sam Rapira in 2015.


After signing a new two-year contract recently, Vatuvei is on track to equal Jones record of 12 NRL seasons with the Vodafone Warriors.


To book please contact:

Diana Broomfield +64 9 925 9942

Email: diana.broomfield@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

For further details please contact:

Sir Peter Charles Leitch +64 21 936 105