NRL: Mannering to bring up milestone

Simon Mannering will lead the Warriors out for the 50th time on Saturday. Photo / Getty Images
Simon Mannering will lead the Warriors out for the 50th time on Saturday. Photo / Getty Images

Second rower Simon Mannering will mark twin milestones when he leads the Warriors in their fourth-round NRL clash against Gold Coast at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday night.

It will not only be the 25-year-old skipper's 150th first-grade appearance but also his 50th match as captain since taking over the role at the start of the 2010 season.

Mannering will lead a side showing some starting line-up changes from the combination which ran on for last Sunday's 18-32 loss to the Bulldogs.

Head coach Brian McClennan has listed Ben Henry to start in the centres with Konrad Hurrell on the bench this week while props Sione Lousi and Ben Matulino, who were injected from the interchange against the Bulldogs, have been named to start against the Titans. That results in Russell Packer and Ukuma Ta'ai moving to the interchange.

As he did on Sunday, Lewis Brown is set to start in the back row with Feleti Mateo on the interchange. Also included on a five-man bench is Vodafone Junior Warriors John Palavi.

In a match of special significance for Mannering, McClennan said the key commitment on Saturday night was to improve the performance across the board.

"We'll be working hard on all areas this week," said McClennan.

"There's a lot we need to improve on, especially our defence and the way we're starting matches. We also need to work on getting our structure right on attack when we're in good ball.

"There were some really good signs again, especially the long period of the match when we were dominating Bulldogs and scored 18 points to lead by two but we need to improve our effort across the whole match. We're committed to doing all we can to get things right."

Warriors team:
1 Kevin Locke
2 Bill Tupou
3 Ben Henry
4 Jerome Ropati
5 Manu Vatuvei
6 James Maloney
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Sione Lousi
9 Nathan Friend
10 Ben Matulino
11 Lewis Brown
12 Simon Mannering (c)
13 Elijah Taylor

Interchange:
14 Russell Packer
15 Feleti Mateo
16 Konrad Hurrell
17 Ukuma Ta'ai
20 John Palavi

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