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Mannering to become highest-capped Warrior

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/03/2017 Angelo Risso
Simon Mannering of the Warriors. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Simon Mannering of the Warriors.

Warriors boss Stephen Kearney says there's only one way his side can honour Simon Mannering's record-breaking 262nd NRL appearance.

And that's to play more like Simon Mannering.

"No complaints, no issues, no dramas - he just gets the job done every week and the players want to respect that and what he's contributed," Kearney said.

The 30-year-old lock will run out in Warriors colours for the 262nd time against the Dragons on Sunday, surpassing Stacey Jones' club appearances record.

In that time the Nelson native, who was captain for six years between 2010 and 2015, has picked up a record five Warriors player of the year gongs in 12 seasons.

He is the only player to have won the award more than twice, and earned last year's title on the back of averaging almost 50 tackles across 22 games.

But he'd trade it all away for more club silverware if he could.

Only a 2008 World Cup winners' medal and two Four Nations medals for New Zealand sit in Mannering's personal trophy cabinet.

"Unfortunately it hasn't been the case, but hopefully I've still got a chance to do something," Mannering told reporters.

Having grown up idolising the quick-thinking Jones, Mannering admitted it was a little surreal to overtake The Little General in NRL appearances.

At first he was indifferent to the milestone, but then began to realise the magnitude of standing alongside Jones in Warriors folklore.

"That is special and that's what hits home, getting my name mentioned alongside his name - he's such a legend of the club," Mannering said.

"He'll still be the greatest Warrior we've had."

Mannering said he'd like no more than to celebrate his achievement with victory over the Dragons, who have hit the ground running with two wins from three.

The Warriors, meanwhile, have spluttered to successive losses against Melbourne and Canterbury and must urgently improve across the park.

Mannering felt he and the rest of the Warriors forward pack needed to find more ways to get the best out of their star-studded backline.

"It's just doing the basics right which is just laying a platform, you can't take that for granted, all the play comes off that," Mannering said.

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