Mannering quits as Warriors captain


Warriors second rower Simon Mannering has confirmed he will vacate the captaincy before the start of the NRL season.

Saturday's pre-season match against St George-Illawarra Dragons in Nelson will be Mannering's last as skipper, with Ryan Hoffman to replace the 236-game veteran.

The 29-year-old Mannering, who has led the Auckland-based side since 2010, wants to focus on playing.

"That wasn't easy because the players and the club mean so much to me but I've been thinking about this throughout the off-season," Mannering said of his decision on Wednesday.

"While it has been a massive honour being captain, I wasn't enjoying my football and felt the responsibilities of the captaincy were a big factor in that.

"I told [Warrior's coach Andrew] 'Cappy' [McFadden] and [managing director] Jim [Doyle] that I thought it would be best for me and therefore best for the team if I was able to focus solely on my job as a player.

"They asked me to reconsider but my mind was made up and, to be honest, it's a relief. It has taken a big weight off me."

Of the new role, Hoffman - a 263-game veteran in the NRL - added: "It's a huge honour and I'm totally humbled to be offered the job.

"It's a brave decision Simon has made. He's a terrific leader and player and I know he'll still be there as usual doing everything he can to help the team."