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Mannering named Player of the Year

Published: 6:21AM Wednesday September 17, 2008 Source: ONE Sport

Simon Mannering picked up the premier accolade when he was named the Player of the Year at the Warriors' annual awards dinner on Tuesday night.

The 22-year-old second rower, one of three players to appear for the club in all 25 NRL games so far, beat four other nominees - hooker Ian Henderson, loose forward Micheal Luck, centre Brent Tate and winger Manu Vatuvei for the title.

The durable Mannering hasn't missed a match for the Warriors since making a belated start to their 2006 campaign against the Bulldogs on April 30 that year.

This Friday night he'll make his 68th consecutive NRL appearance, his 75th in all.

He hasn't missed a match for New Zealand during that period either putting together a run of 12 test appearances as well as a non-test match in Greymouth, giving him a tally of 81 straight games for club and country.

Tonight he earned his award on the strength of consistently outstanding performances for the Warriors in 2008.

With 15 tries in 15 matches, Vatuvei picked up the Vodafone One Tribe Player of the Year, as voted for on a weekly basis by One Tribe members.

Vatuvei was also named the Puma Club Person of the Year for his overall contribution to the club both on and off the field. Luck, who won the award the two previous years, was again a nominee as was captain Steve Price. Vatuvei also becomes the Vodafone Warriors One Community ambassador, taking over from Luck.

Luck is, however, in line for the NRL's premier community award the Ken Stephen Medal, awarded to the player who makes the most outstanding contribution to the community through rugby league. Last year Ruben Wiki became the first Warriors player to win the prestigious medal.

In the other key award of the night, Ben Matulino, still only 19, beat winger Aidan Kirk and second rower-centre Sonny Fai for the Young NRL Player of the Year title.

Another feature of the night was the farewell to departing players Wiki, Logan Swann, Wairangi Koopu, Ryan Shortland and Michael Crockett.