Simon Mannering, the Warriors' longest-serving captain, made the right call in stepping aside from the demands of the job. The big forward relinquished the role saying he felt worn down by off-field demands and disappointed that the team had gone four years without making the NRL finals. His successor is Australian Ryan Hoffman, who may well bring a visible toughness to performances on the paddock.

It is not easy for a skipper to admit that his game and that of the team he leads could be suffering because of his own shortcomings. But Mannering showed courage in assessing his form and awareness that the decision appeared best for him as a player and for the team's prospects of cracking the last eight at the business end of the season. His judgment and the character of his replacement suggest the transition will be smooth and the popular side quick to regroup under the direction of the hard-nosed Hoffman.

A loyal team man, Mannering made his debut in 2005 and picked up the captaincy in 2010, at the age of just 24. For much of his career he has been a regular with the Kiwi league side.

Without the burden of leadership, the Warriors would hope the 236-game veteran can recapture the form which saw him awarded the club's Player of the Year accolade four times.


The 2016 NRL season starts in a fortnight. Warriors fans will be hoping that Mannering, though he won't be in charge, will still be leading from the front.