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Foundation Vodafone Warrior Duane Mann (pictured) and vastly-experienced coach Rohan Smith are both linking up with the club again. Photo: Photosport

The 32-year-old Smith, previously on the Vodafone Warriors football staff from 2001-2004, is returning in the newly-appointed role of fulltime coach of the clubs New South Wales Cup feeder team the Auckland Vulcans.

And Mann (48) is moving across Beasley Avenue from the ARLs offices to the Vodafone Warriors headquarters at Mount Smart Stadium to become the clubs academy and pathways manager.

Rohan and Duane both have a long involvement in rugby league and a huge passion for the game and for the club, said Vodafone Warriors general manager football operations Dean Bell.

They both have impressive backgrounds which make them ideal choices for these two keys roles in our football department.

Smith takes over from Willie Swann, who coached the Vulcans in a part-time capacity this year, taking them to the NSW Cup finals; they finished sixth in the regular season after missing the play-offs last year. Bell said he had huge admiration for Swann who combined his fulltime role as a dean at Liston College and coaching the Vulcans.

Smith, whose father is highly-experienced top-level coach Brian Smith, has been associated with rugby league clubs in New Zealand, Australia and England since 2001 including a stint as video analyst and junior elite coach with the Vodafone Warriors in 2003-2004. He also worked for the Kiwis when Daniel Anderson was coach.

Rohan has impressive experience and is highly regarded for his professionalism, said Bell.

This newly-created fulltime role is part of the plan to make sure that all coaching departments are integrated and following the club wide approach to developing our players to the highest possible standard in readiness for NRL football.

Rohan will also be involved in other newly created development initiatives that (Vodafone Warriors head coach) Matt (Elliott) has recently introduced.

Smith is currently assistant coach of Penriths NYC side and could wind up going head to head with the Vodafone Junior Warriors in next weekends NYC grand final (the Panthers face Canberra on Saturday to determine the Vodafone Junior Warriors opponents after they advanced with a 54-38 win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Friday night).

Previously Smith has been an NRL assistant coach with the Sydney Roosters and the Newcastle Knights as well as being assistant coach with the London Broncos in the English Super League. He has also coached Tonga and was Newcastles NYC head coach in 2009-2010.

Mann will be having his third term with the Vodafone Warriors. The first was as a player when he became Warrior No 9 in the clubs foundation team in 1995 and his second as the junior elite coach in 2003-2005.

Hell fill the position created by club legend Stacey Jones stepping up to become Vodafone Junior Warriors head coach next season.

Duane has an ideal mix of skills, knowledge, experience and networks to take on the role of academy and pathways manager, said Bell.

As football development manager with the Auckland Rugby League he has been involved in a number of initiatives from junior development camps, to coaching education, school competitions and being a central figure in starting up the College Rugby League competition in conjunction with the Vodafone Warriors this year.

Part of Duanes role will be to take over our junior recruitment which will allow me to put more time into supporting the NRL side.

Manns arrival will add to what has become a burgeoning group of old boys in the football department comprising Bell, Jones, Jerry Seuseu, Ruben Wiki and Awen Guttenbeil. Monty Betham runs the clubs Legends of League Lounge on game days and the likes of Logan Swann and Steve Price regularly feature in a club-related capacity in the rugby league community.

Manns extensive playing career spanned appearances for the Kiwis, Tonga, the Warriors, Warrington, Auckland, the North Harbour Sea Eagles, the Counties Manukau Jetz and his beloved Glenora Bears.

He has previously coached Tonga, Fiji, the Bay Roskill Vikings and the Glenora Bears while he also has extensive experience in the education sector.


Born: May 05, 1981

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Coaching Career: Penrith Panthers NYC assistant coach 2013

Sydney Roosters NRL assistant coach 2010-2012

Newcastle Knights NYC head coach 2009-2010

Tonga head coach 2009

Newcastle Knights assistant coach 2007-2009

London Broncos assistant coach 2004-2006

Kiwis video analyst 2003-2004

Vodafone Warriors video analyst and junior elite coach 2003-2004


Born: June 28, 1965

Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Coaching Career:

Fiji head coach 2010

Tonga national coach 1996, 1997 and 2006

New Zealand Rugby League high performance director 2003-2005

Vodafone Warriors junior elite coach 2003-2005

Bay Roskill Vikings head coach 2010-2011

Glenora Bears head coach 2000-2001 and 2008-2009

Playing Career:

Kiwis (#609):

29 Tests 1989-1994

Kiwi captain 1994

NZRL Player of the Year 1994

Mate Maa Tonga:

30 games 1986-2000 including 1995 and 2000 World Cups


16 games 1988-1994

Auckland Warriors (#9):

13 games 1995


124 games 1989-1993

Other Positions:

Auckland Rugby League football development manager 2011-2013

Greater Auckland Coaching Unit coaching manager 2008-2010

Sport Auckland and Counties Manukau Regional Sports Trusts 2010-2012

Avondale College director of sport 1998-2003
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