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Mannering milestone motivates Warriors

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/06/2016 Robert Lowe
<p>Simon Mannering</p> © Getty Images

Simon Mannering

Simon Mannering has been lauded as "the ultimate warrior" ahead of a personal milestone in his NRL career.

Mannering will rack up 250 first-grade appearances for the Warriors when he runs out against the Gold Coast Titans in Auckland on Saturday.

"I've met players that can give everything, but I haven't met players like Simon that can do it under a fair bit of duress," coach Andrew McFadden said.

"People won't even know what he has to put up with in a game and he's certainly the ultimate warrior."

Given Mannering's understated style, McFadden indicated that the backrower would have preferred to be out of the spotlight this week.

"He'll hate all this attention," McFadden said.

"He's a team man and it's about the team."

An 80-minute player, Mannering again demonstrated his huge work rate in the Warriors' 19-18 golden-point defeat to leaders Cronulla last weekend.

He made 67 tackles, include two try-savers, and had 11 carries for 84 metres before McFadden took him off in the third minute of extra time because he was "running on empty".

Against the Titans, Mannering will close to within 11 games of former halfback Stacey Jones' club record 261 NRL matches.

However, overhauling that mark isn't a focus for him.

"Milestones are great, but you never set out saying: `I want to achieve that or achieve this'," he said.

"I've just been lucky to represent the club this many times and I want to make the most of how ever many I've got left."

Mannering, 29, made his debut against Brisbane in 2005 and has gone on to skipper both club and country.

He relinquished the club captaincy at the start of the year after a six-season tenure, citing the effect the job was having on his enjoyment of the game.

"I definitely feel less emphasis on me and my role in the team, which is probably a good thing for me," he said on Wednesday.

Teammate Shaun Johnson said Mannering's upcoming milestone would provide the Warriors with added motivation against the Titans.

"He's doing something only one other player in the club's history has done," the halfback said.

"It's hard to ignore. I know he will probably want you to. He's a person that doesn't want to be mentioned, but as players, we respect him and hold him that high that it's going to drive us."

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