Warriors lock Simon Mannering against the Storm in Round 2.

Mannering the best ever: Jones

Warriors legend Stacey Jones has boldly declared Simon Mannering the club's greatest player of all time.

It comes after Mannering equalled Jones' record for most appearances in a Warriors jersey in the Round 3 loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs, playing his 261st match in a 13-season NRL Telstra Premiership career spent entirely with the New Zealand club.

While many still rate Jones as the best player to take the field for the Warriors, the 'Little General' told NRL.com there was no doubt in his mind that Mannering had surpassed his achievements.

"Simon, in my eyes, has been the best player we have had," said Jones, who is now an assistant coach with the club's NRL side.

"I have been lucky enough to play with him for a short amount of time, and now watch him from a coaching capacity.

"What Simon has achieved with the club is really second to none. I don't think there has been another player who has done the sort of things he has done for the club, he deserves every accolade he gets."

Despite playing the majority of his career in the middle of the park, alongside some of the game's biggest bodies, and more often than not leading the tackle count, Mannering has displayed incredible durability.

The former Warriors and Kiwis captain has appeared in 261 of a possible 287 games since his debut in Round 16, 2005.

In that time he has also appeared in 41 Tests for his country.

 

Jones said that it was that toughness and uncompromising attitude which ensures Mannering is revered in rugby league circles the world over.

"That is why he commands the respect he does, he plays through a lot of pain and the amount of minutes he plays in a game, he puts his body through it all, it's a huge testament to what he has been able to do," Jones said.

"I am sure there has been plenty of occasions where other players would have missed games, but he has been able to play because he is a guy who can handle the pain and get through.

"How he plays the game, he has got five Warriors Player of the Year awards to his name and has just been a massive person in the history of this club."

While his side collapsed to their second loss in three games to start the 2017 season, Mannering was in top form in Friday night's 24-12 defeat to the Bulldogs in Dunedin.

The 30-year-old lock's 49 tackles were the most made by any player on the park, while he did it without a single miss.

He also carried the ball 14 times for 122 metres, once again showcasing the type of spirit and commitment to the cause which places him among the game's elite.