13 facts about new Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman

New Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman. Photo / Getty
New Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman. Photo / Getty

Ryan Hoffman was yesterday announced as the new captain of the New Zealand Warriors, replacing Simon Mannering as the skipper. Chris Rattue lists 13 things you may not know about the forward.

1) Hoffman played alongside Warriors coach Andrew McFadden at Melbourne in 2003/04. Hoffman was on the way to a terrific NRL career, while McFadden - who made his name at the Raiders - was coming to the end of his and was a spare part at the Storm.

2) There is also a strong Canberra Raiders link. McFadden made his name there, while Hoffman's father Jay - a hooker - played all of his 100-plus NRL games for the club during the 1980s.

3) He spent his intermediate school years in Wellington, when his father was transferred there by Exide Batteries. He played rugby for Hutt-Old Boys Marist. Hoffman, who had only played league previously, made rep teams alongside future All Black Piri Weepu and played at Athletic Park.

4) Hoffman was known to take of his shoes off at primary school and run on gravel until his feet would bleed to toughen himself up.

5) He has played for the Warriors before - the Wigan Warriors. He joined the big English club in 2011 when the Storm had to export a few players because of a salary cap breach.

6) The 32-year-old Hoffman is in the second season of a three year deal at the Warriors, reported to be worth $1.7m.

7) Hoffman and his wife Melissa have a Kiwi baby - Mia was born in Auckland in October last year. Mia, who weighed in at an impressive 4.2kg, has an older brother Zach.

8) Hoffman's first year with the Warriors was the only time he had experienced a losing season. Since his debut in 2003, he had 11 successive seasons in which the Storm won more than 50 per cent of their games. The Warriors had a 44 per cent win record last year.

9) Hoffman has enjoyed one genuine Grand Final victory, when the Storm beat Canterbury 14 - 4 before an 83,000 crowd in 2012. The club was stripped of their 2007 and 2009 titles for salary cap breaches. Hoffman scored the first try in the 2009 match against the Eels. He also played in a losing grand final team in 2006.

10) The second rower isn't a flashy players but he is regarded as one of the best players in the NRL at the art of running into holes.

11) His dad played for Queensland in the pre State of Origin days, while Hoffman has played 11 origin games for New South Wales. He has played six tests for Australia, making a superb debut in 2007 when the Kangaroos thrashed the Kiwis 58 - 0 in Wellington.

12) Hoffman figures in a well-remembered photo which showed him sobbing on the field after the Storm lost the 2006 grand final to the Broncos. "It is really hard when you lose and it hurts - it really hurts," he said the next year, having broken down again after a loss to the Tigers after which he was dubbed Cryin' Ryan.

13 Hoffman will become the fifth Australian to lead the Warriors following Greg Alexander, John Simon, Kevin Campion and Steve Price.

- NZ Herald

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