Warriors honoured at packed luncheon
Meet the newest members of the Vodafone Warriors 10-season club.
League stars Manu Vatuvei and Jerome Ropati have each chalked up an amazing decade-long record with the franchise, joining a small group of past players including Stacey Jones, Awen Guttenbeil and Lance Hohaia.
Both were honoured during a packed testimonial luncheon at the Ellerslie Convention Centre last week.
The event was organised by the Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust and driven by founding trustee Sir Peter Leitch – a long-time supporter of the game.
Vatuvei, 27, has just signed a new two-year contract with the club and is on track to equal the 12 NRL season record previously set by Stacey Jones. Ropati, 28, is one of only six players to score 50 NRL tries for the club, despite a career hampered by injury.
Both men were joined on stage by their wives at various points throughout the event as a mixed crowd of sporting personalities, league stars, family members and die-hard fans paid tribute.
‘‘It was a special occasion,’’ Sir Peter says.
‘‘And a great opportunity for people to come along to honour Manu and Jerome for everything they’ve done for the Vodafone Warriors.’’
Double whammy: Manu Vatuvei and Jerome Ropati, pictured at the Ellerslie Event Centre.