Veteran in top shape for Cup
Simon Mannering has ended the NRL season in the best shape he’s been in for years and is ready to give his all for the Kiwis at the World Cup.
For the past few years the 31-year-old Mannering has battled injuries and illness at the back end of Warriors campaigns and it led to him missing the Kiwis’ tour to England in 2015 and last year’s Four Nations.
However, Mannering says he’s good to go for the World Cup.
‘‘On the back of previous years, I’m obviously older now, but I do feel better,’’ Mannering said.
‘‘The club has been good to me this year with my loading through the weeks.
‘‘They’ve looked after me well and I’m feeling it now. I think I can really contribute for the Kiwis if I get a chance to play for them.’’
It’s laughable even to suggest Mannering won’t be in the Kiwis’ 24-man squad for the World Cup.
Regardless of anything else, if New Zealand Rugby League wants to have public support through the tournament, the last thing it should do is drop the country’s most popular league player.
There are 33 days to go before the Kiwis play their first game at the World Cup, against Samoa at Mt Smart Stadium.
For some who’ll be in the squad, there’s next weekend’s NRL grand final to get through first, but for Mannering preparations start in earnest this week.
‘‘On Monday we start the trainon squad and once the grand final is done they’ll finalise the squad of 24 for the tournament,’’ Mannering said.
‘‘Obviously, I’d love to be a part of the Kiwis squad for a World Cup that will be mostly in New Zealand for us.
‘‘Every experience I’ve had with the Kiwis has been awesome,’’ he added.
‘‘It’s always a new from the NRL clubs, Warriors.
‘‘It’s really refreshing and even when it’s the Anzac test, I enjoy the week because it is so refreshing and enjoyable and I’m sure the World Cup will be no different.’’
Since the Warriors finished their season, Mannering spent time in Nelson visiting family and he took the opportunity to take a break before the Kiwis’ campaign begins.
He spent the time thinking ahead to the Kiwis, rather than dwelling on the Warriors’ disappointing campaign.
‘‘We did our review the week after the season, if it was a better season I’d probably be thinking about it more,’’ Mannering said.
‘‘But the best thing for myself to put it to one side.
‘‘We’ve said our piece in the review and the best thing now is to move forward.’’ environment not just the is
Kiwis veteran Simon Mannering.