RUGBY LEAGUE NEWS:
|Mannering to lead the Kiwis|
|Written by: NZRL|
|February 28th 2013 10:24 PM|
At a press conference in Auckland this morning, Simon Mannering has been announced as the new Kiwis captain.
Stephen Kearney, the Kiwis coach, said Mannering brought many assets to the position.
“Simon is well-respected throughout the rugby league community. He’s a vastly experienced player at both club and international level, he’s heading into his fourth season as captain at the Warriors, and you know he’ll give you 100% every time.”
Mannering, who made his debut for the Kiwis as a 20yo in 2006, has been part of the Kiwis senior leadership group of players.
“He was the logical choice to step up as captain,” says Kearney, “and we believe he can lead us now and into the future.”
At just 26, Mannering (Kiwi #731) has already played 30 Tests for the Kiwis. He was a key part of the winning 2008 Rugby League World Cup and 2010 Four Nations campaigns and has made 165 NRL appearances for the Vodafone Warriors, 65 of those as captain since taking over for the 2010 season. He led the Warriors to the NRL Grand Final the following year.
Mannering was understandably pleased when offered the position. “It’s a massive honour to even be considered for the role,” he said, “let alone to be chosen to lead your country.”
Both Mannering and Kearney were united in their praise of the out-going captain Benji Marshall and the character he’d shown this week, after digesting the news he would no longer lead the side.
Kearney said “As a coach, you are always stressing to your players that the team must come first. In very trying circumstances this week, Benji, who has always loved leading his country, responded like a true champion, which I expected.”
Marshall had earlier said “The decision has been made, and we all have to move on. That starts with me. At the end of the day, I’m still an integral part of the New Zealand rugby league team. I’ve still got a job to do to help in the World Cup. That’s not going to change.”
Marshall will continue to be a senior leader in the Kiwis and Mannering is looking forward to working with him. “You just have to look at the way he’s conducted himself this week to know what he’ll continue to give to the Kiwis.”
Mannering’s first Test in charge of the Kiwis is against the Kangaroos in Canberra on April 19.