Sam Rapiras landmark week has been topped off with confirmation his Vodafone Warriors contract has been extended to the end of the 2015 NRL season. Photo: Photosport


The 26-year-old Rapira, off contract at the end of 2014, brought up his 150th milestone appearance in the record 50-16 win against Canberra last Saturday night and will again start in this Saturday nights critical final regular season clash against St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.


Of the 2013 squad only Jerome Ropati (2003), Manu Vatuvei (2004) and Simon Mannering (2005) started their careers with the Vodafone Warriors before Rapira made his debut as a 19-year-old against Wests Tigers in 2006.


After becoming the ninth member of the Vodafone Warriors' 150-game club, Rapira's contract extension leaves him on track to join the elite group of players who have appeared in 10 NRL seasons for the club; Stacey Jones, Awen Guttenbeil, Lance Hohaia, Jerome Ropati and Manu Vatuvei have already qualified while Mannering will do so next year and Rapira in 2015.


Sam delivers a level of consistency in his performances which makes him such an asset for us, said Vodafone Warriors general manager football operations Dean Bell.


While hes still only 26 he is one of our most experienced players, one who has proved his quality time and time again and will continue to do so.


Managed by Peter Brown, Rapira has rebounded from an injury-disrupted 2012 to feature regularly throughout 2013. Indeed he has missed only two of the Vodafone Warriors games this season as he eyes his 22nd appearance on Saturday. Hell start against the Dragons with 25-year-old rookie Suaia Matagi again as his fellow front rower.


Aside from Rapiras 150 appearances, the Vodafone Warriors boast substantial experience among the front rowers in their squad. Jacob Lillyman plays his 100th game for the club on Saturday and the 162nd of his career while Ben Matulino lifts his tally to 132. Injured Russell Packer has played 110 NRL games.


SAM RAPIRA


Born: April 8, 1987

Birthplace: Hamilton, NZ

Position: Prop

Height: 184cm

Weight: 105kg

Junior Club: Hukanui

Previous Clubs: Nil

NRL Debut: Vodafone Warriors v Wests Tigers, Mount Smart Stadium, May 2, 2006 (Round 11)

Club Number: 131

NRL Career: 150 appearances 2006-2013

NRL Points: 48 points (12 tries)

Representative: 13 Tests for Kiwis, 200-2011, Rugby League World Cup 2008