Warriors coach Stephen Kearney believes retiring forward Simon Mannering deserves to be ranked alongside fellow Kiwis legend and NRL Hall of Fame inductee Mark Graham.

Graham was announced on Wednesday as the first New Zealander to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Sydney Cricket Ground on August 1, before Mannering confirmed he would call time on a 14-year playing career at the end of the season.

The two back rowers and former Kiwi captains have different strengths as players but share a similar hard-as-nails approach to the game that has won them wide respect both throughout the NRL and internationally.

Kearney believes Mannering should be held in the same esteem as the celebrated 62-year-old.


"They're different styles but they have the same mana in the game," he said. "Mark was dynamic but they're very similar in stature. It's a pretty special week for both of them with Simon in his retirement and 'Sharky' being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"I would have [Mannering] in [the Hall of Fame] and everyone and anyone who has ever played with him would have him in there, there's no doubt about that.

"Simon wouldn't care, and that's Simon. But he's in there regardless in my eyes."