Returning Warriors forward Simon Mannering says he was prepared to bide his time and didn't assume he was a guaranteed selection for Saturday's NRL match against North Queensland.
The 31-year-old is set to make his first appearance of the season off the bench in the double-header game at Mt Smart Stadium, after recovering from a partially dislocated shoulder suffered in the final trial win over the Titans in February.
The Warriors have impressed in his absence by producing some skilful attack and gritty defence in four straight victories, and Mannering admits he is conscious of not disrupting their momentum as they look to extend their winning run against the Cowboys.
"After the way they played [last week against the Roosters] I actually said to Mooks [Kearney] 'hey mate, don't feel like you have to pick me'," Mannering said.
"I don't want to come in and break the flow because the boys are on fire.
"I just didn't want him to think 'he's going to want to come back and start'. It's not about any individuals in this team. We are going well as a group so I just want to do what's best for them. He's put me on the bench so I'll do some form of a role coming on.
"But it will just see cool to be a part of it. I don't want to disrupt what they have got going on."
The Warriors stunning start to the season with one home and three away victories helped ease the pressure on Mannering throughout his recovery, and he is confident his shoulder is back to full strength
The 280-game veteran is looking forward to contributing to the side and excited to play his first proper match since the Kiwis World Cup quarter-final defeat to Fiji last November.
"It's been about six weeks now so I'm pretty happy with how it's gone and I'm feeling very confident with it," he said.
"[The side's good form] made my job easier sitting there watching them play.
"We're still building that performance and it's definitely nowhere near the finished product, but I'm just proud of the guys going over there and performing right across the park.
"There will be a few nerves because I haven't played really since November. But once you get into it it's like riding a bike."
The Warriors have done well to block out the business of the ongoing saga of the club's potential sale, with news relating to prospective bids from a Tongan-US consortium and the Auckland Rugby League often overshadowing the team's on-field performances.
Mannering says the players learned not be distracted by the issue after current owner Eric Watson first announced he was looking to offload the franchise last August.
"No, we haven't [talked about it]. It was [discussed] early on when there was a lot of it in the media and of late it hasn't been mentioned.
"We've sort of put it to rest and whatever will be, will be. It's really out of our control as players and the best thing is for us just to focus on what we do on the field and hopefully we can just continue to build our performance."
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