Simon Mannnering
Rugby nunion

Simon Mannering could follow in the footsteps of Sonny Bill Williams, with the New Zealand Warriors captain confirming he has been approached about a move to rugby.

After another stand-out year, the Warriors captain has admitted he has been targeted by a New Zealand Super Rugby club in a move that could lead him moving to the All Blacks.

Simon Mannering played rugby union for Nelson College in New Zealand before turning to rugby league as a teenager, making him a prime target for the rival code.

“There has been some interest there,” Mannering said. “And I do have a background in union.

“Where I come from, it was rugby dominated and I did play it as a kid.

“I enjoyed my time playing the game while I was growing up, but obviously I took a different path and it is fair to say it has worked out.”

Mannering, 25, said he grew up dreaming of becoming an All Black, with Jonah Lomu among his heroes.

Off-contract at the end of next year, Mannering is set to be one of the most sought-after players in the game.

The Warriors’ player of the year has been a revelation both as a player and captain since taking the leadership in controversial fashion from Steve Price last year.

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He went close to leaving the Warriors at the end of 2008, with the Eels and Bulldogs weighing in with big offers.

Mannering gave little away when discussing his future but hinted he would be happy to play out his career with the Warriors.

“They are a great bunch of people and the last couple of years we have had some success. I think it is a good place,” Mannering said.

Read more at the Courier Mail