Simon Mannering – Warrior

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Simon Mannering is one of elite sport’s great enigmas. From 2005 to 2018 he was a regular fixture in the Warriors and Kiwis rugby league teams and has captained both. He is one of only a handful of players to have played 300 NRL games for one club and, remarkably, he’s the only one who has ever done it flying back and forth across the Tasman every second weekend. Yet little is known about him as he shuns the spotlight and seldom does interviews.

Warriors and former All Blacks doctor John Mayhew rates Simon alongside Richie McCaw and Buck Shelford for sheer toughness and his ability to play through pain and illness is legendary.

While the Warriors have been up and down over the years, Simon Mannering has maintained a consistently high standard of play and regularly led tackle counts.

Yet he was not a sporting prodigy. In Warrior, Simon explains how he transformed himself from a sports-mad kid with mediocre talents into one of the greats of New Zealand sport.

‘If he’s not the best ever Warrior, he’s certainly in the conversation. Personally, I would put him at the top, just for these reasons: consistency, longevity, great captaincy.’
Former Warriors and current Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary

‘One of the toughest players I have come across in either rugby code . . . and, more importantly, one of the most unassuming, humble men I have had the privilege to meet. Admired by all.’
Former All Blacks and current Warriors doctor John Mayhew

‘Simon’s won the Player of the Year award five times at the Warriors. So where does he sit among the club’s best players? To me, right at the top alongside Stacey Jones.’
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney

‘People really don't get what Simon’s about from watching 80 minutes of footy on the TV. The difference between his best and his worst performance is one per cent. He’s always had the respect of the dressing room.’
Former Warrior Michael Luck


Written by Angus Gillies

Publication date: 8 November 2018
ISBN: 978-1-988516-38-7
Category: Sports
NZ RRP: $49.99
Format: Cased and jacketed, 234 x 153mm (portrait), 264pp

Watch Simon talking about the book on TVNZ's Breakfast: