Auckland, New Zealand, April 12, 2014 - Vodafone Warriors captain Simon Mannering has underlined his commitment to the club by today signing a new four-year contract to the end of the 2018 NRL season.
The 27-year-old Mannering, off contract at the end of this season, had attracted significant interest from other clubs.
“This is the biggest contract of my career because it could possibly be my last,” he said.
“I love this club and always will. I’m keen to be a part of our future and have the greatest faith in the direction to the club is heading. We have much to offer this season and in years to come.
“It’s not just about football, though. I also have my family to consider. That was a big part of the decision and I’m really happy it has all worked out.”
Andrew McFadden, appointed interim head coach this week, was delighted with the announcement.
“I have the greatest admiration for Simon and what he means to the team and the club,” he said.
“It’s the same with Jacob (Lillyman), who has been signed until the end of the 2017 season. Like Simon, he’s such an experienced and consistent performer, the type of player we place the highest value on in our squad."
Lillyman (30) has extended his Vodafone Warriors career to nine seasons with his new three-year deal. He became the club’s 22nd 100-game player last season and will play his 168th career match tomorrow. Named the players’ player of the year twice in the first five rounds, Lillyman has been making a big impact off the bench, averaging more than 130 metres a game so far.
Mannering, who made his NRL debut as an 18-year-old in 2005, will lead the Vodafone Warriors for the 94th time when they face Canterbury-Bankstown at Eden Park tomorrow (4.00pm kick-off; match day sponsor: SKYCITY).
He is five games into his 10th season as an NRL player and his fifth as captain. He has the chance tomorrow to bring up his 50th victory as captain, another first for a Vodafone Warriors captain. He has a record of 49 wins and 44 losses so far while his predecessor Steve Price had a record of 42 wins and 47 losses with two draws.
As well as being set to become the club’s first 100-game captain, he is also in line to become only the second player to play 200 games for the Vodafone Warriors. He sits on 193 heading into the Eden Park game tomorrow and is on track to hit 200 in the first home game of the year at Mount Smart Stadium when the Vodafone Warriors face Newcastle in June.