Young Wellingtonian Simon Mannering is a guy on a mission. Just 1 year into his rugby league career as a preferred sport the youngster has been noticed at the highest level.Mannering, who did not play the game until August last year at Nelson College, last weekend signed up with the NZ Warriors in their 2nd tier developmental squad.
It has been a meteoric rise for the 17 year old ceiling installer.Last month he was a member of the Wellington team that retained the national under-18 title and this season so far he has slotted into the ranks of Wellingtons Bartercard Cup team with little apparent effort while also displaying larges amounts of skills and, more importantly to the Warriors, potential needed to fill a spot in an NRL team.
The young 2nd row forward now has the world at his feet and enjoys the possibility of earning a position in the Warriors squad.In October this year Mannering will move up to Auckland to begin serious training with his new club.
"It's a great opportunity and I want to make the most of it," Mannering said yesterday. "It's all happened pretty quickly. I hardly knew anything about the game till a few months ago.
"Daniel Anderson showed me around in Auckland last weekend, and I'm happy about signing no matter what troubles the Warriors might have at the moment."
Anderson had not seen the 1.90m, 92kg Mannering before the national under-18 final at Wellington's Westpac Stadium on April 16, the curtain-raiser to the Warriors' National Rugby League game against the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Afterwards, he told Wellington Bartercard Cup coach Paul Bergman: "I want that No 12".
Mannering admitted his thanks to his Wellington coach and Bergman states that his young charge possesses "right attitude and was a swift learner".
Mannering joins fellow Wellington under-18 player Viliami Manu at the Warriors and there is a point that Mannering is sure to point out to his new team mates, there were 17 Warriors recruits in the two Auckland sides that unsuccessfully tried to beat Wellington.