Warriors stalwart Simon Mannering will end his 14-year career with the NRL club at the end of this season.
The 31-year-old’s decision today follows his announcement five weeks ago that he had retired from international football after 45 tests for the Kiwis from 2006-2017.
Mannering said he had wrestled with his decision for several weeks.
“It has taken a while to reach this point but I’m now comfortable with the decision I’ve finally made,” he said.
“It hasn’t been easy that’s for sure. There has been a lot to think about. I’ve really enjoyed this season and that was one of the factors that was playing on my mind.
“It’s not over yet, though. There are still a lot of games to be played and I want to do all I can to help the team and the coaching staff in our bid to finish this season as well as we possibly can.”
Mannering was 18 when he made his Warriors debut off the bench in the 30-18 clash against Brisbane at Mount Smart Stadium on June 26, 2005.
On Sunday he’ll make his 294th appearance when the club plays Melbourne at the same venue.
It leaves him on track to become the first player to make 300 appearances for the club and only the second New Zealander to reach that milestone after former Canberra and Warriors great Ruben Wiki.
Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney said Mannering’s decision marked a sad day for the club.
“I’d love Simon to play on forever but sadly the time comes when players have to make the call to finish,” he said.
“I know how difficult this would have been for him. He loves playing footy and he loves this club so it’s a really significant day for him and for all of us.”
Warriors chief executive Cameron George also paid tribute to Mannering.
“It’s difficult to put into words just how much Simon has done for the Warriors on and off the field and what he means to us and to members and fans alike,” George said.
“Above all he’s a champion player and a champion person who epitomises what a Warrior is all about.”
In his time at the club, Mannering has been on the field for close to 370 hours, carrying the ball more than 27,000 metres (an average of 95 metres a game) and making more than 9300 tackles, at an average of about 32 tackles a game.