Warriors lock Simon Mannering against the Storm in Round 2.

After 263 NRL Telstra Premiership matches and 41 Tests for New Zealand there aren't many obstacles Simon Mannering can't overcome on a rugby league field.

But the workaholic forward admitted this week that his body is slowly but surely getting the better of him in his 13th season as a first-grade footballer.

Across the opening five matches of the season the 30-year-old has managed only one 80-minute outing, something which was previously a staple of his game, and in three of those matches has had to leave the field due to niggling injuries.

 


"I definitely notice that the body isn't holding up so well in the last couple of years, especially compared to young guys coming through," Mannering told NRL.com ahead of Sunday's match against the Parramatta Eels in Auckland.

"You don't bounce back so quick from injuries or games, everything drags on that bit longer for your body, thankfully I don't have too many more years to keep playing. 

"Right now it's just my neck, I am having a little bit of trouble with it from the first game of the season.

"It's one of those things I have to manage, along with a couple of others bumps and niggles; I'm not getting any younger."

 

 
While Mannering is renowned for his outstanding durability – he's appeared in 263 of a possible 289 NRL games since his debut in 2005 – the start to the season, coupled with the fact that he has missed the last two end-of-year Kiwi tours due to injury, raises questions about the role he will be able to play in the final part of his career.

"I don't think I'll have to miss any games at this stage, I guess we will just play it by ear with the doc, it might just be an ongoing thing unfortunately," Mannering said.

"Hopefully it goes away… I manage it through training as well, we do a bit of contact through the week so I try and save it up and keep it for the weekend."

Despite the injury concerns, Mannering has been among the Warriors' best performers to start the season, leading their overall tackle count at an average of 37.8 per match, while on the other side of the Steeden averaging 117 metres run.