In a move that has seen plenty of praise for the individual, former Kiwis rugby league team captain Simon Mannering has announced his retirement from the International game.
Still available for his New Zealand Warrors NRL team, the 45 test capped player has chosen to let others take the opportunity for the Kiwis side. In an humble move – which will only support his already high standing in the sport – Mannering has stepped away from the limelight. A move that is similar to his no-thrills attitude to the game.
A member of the triumphant 2008 Rugby League World Cup winning Kiwis team, Mannering will pass the baton to younger men, who must have all have idolized the Warriors and Kiwi stalwart, growing up.
When former team mate Rueben Wiki was asked on RadioSport how he would remember Simon Mannering, he was full of praise. “You know when your team is missing Simon. He just turns up when that special tackle is needed”. And when asked what type of leader Mannering was; in vocally motivating his team at the International level, he simply stated;
“his Actions speak louder than words”.
Simon Mannering International league retirement
Speaking to the media, after an Warriors training run, Simon Mannering was matter-a-fact about the decision. “Going into the World Cup last year I sort of had it in the back of my mind that it would be my last campaign playing for the Kiwis,” he said.
— Kirstie Stanway (@KirstieStanway) June 12, 2018
A member of the 2004 Junior Kiwis side, before Mannering signed for the Warriors, he has played for the Kiwis since debut at the 2006 Tri-Nations tournament. Since then, the powerful center has graduated from the ‘young front-on tackler’ to a ‘hard nosed second rower’.
The players two greatest moments have undoubtedly been the winning 2008 RLWC side, who defeated Australia in their home final. Plus the 2011 NRL Grand Final, where the Ivan Cleary coached side were beaten by Manly.
The usually reserved Mannering, has spoken proudly of his time in the black and white Kiwis jersey. “I was honoured to wear the Kiwi jersey every time and it’s been a huge privilege having the chance to play alongside so many outstanding players.
“It was also a special honour to captain my country.”
In 2014, Simon Mannering was named Kiwis Player of the Year. And while he came to epitomize the qualities needed to represent his country, he has stated that “I think it’s a good time for younger players to be given every opportunity.”
And with that, very much as his role on the field has been, his actions speak louder than his words ever could.
The NZ Warriors sit in fourth place on the NRL ladder, after 14 rounds.
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