Sam Rapira’s landmark week has been topped off with confirmation his Vodafone Warriors contract has been extended to the end of the 2015 NRL season.
The 26-year-old Rapira, off contract at the end of 2014, brought up his 150th milestone appearance in the record 50-16 win against Canberra last Saturday night and will again start in this Saturday night’s critical final regular season clash against St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.
Of the 2013 squad only Jerome Ropati (2003), Manu Vatuvei (2004) and Simon Mannering (2005) started their careers with the Vodafone Warriors before Rapira made his debut as a 19-year-old against Wests Tigers in 2006.
“Sam delivers a level of consistency in his performances which makes him such an asset for us,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football operations Dean Bell.
“While he’s still only 26 he is one of our most experienced players, one who has proved his quality time and time again and will continue to do so.”
Managed by Peter Brown, Rapira has rebounded from an injury-disrupted 2012 to feature regularly throughout 2013. Indeed he has missed only two of the Vodafone Warriors’ games this season as he eyes his 22nd appearance on Saturday. He’ll start against the Dragons with 25-year-old rookie Suaia Matagi again as his fellow front rower.
Aside from Rapira’s 150 appearances, the Vodafone Warriors boast substantial experience among the front rowers in their squad. Jacob Lillyman plays his 100th game for the club on Saturday and the 162nd of his career while Ben Matulino lifts his tally to 132. Injured Russell Packer has played 110 NRL games.