Vatuvei eyes one-club career at Warriors

Giant winger Manu Vatuvei can see himself going through his rugby league career as a one-club player after signing to stay with the Warriors for three more years.

The new contract will take Vatuvei through to the end of 2018, which would be his 15th NRL season.

“I don’t see myself at another club or another team,” he said on Wednesday.

“The Warriors will be the one jersey I want to wear throughout my career. Hopefully I can do that, but I have to perform and do everything that’s required of me.”

Vatuvei was off-contract at the end of the year and did look at other options, including rugby union, “but the Warriors have done a lot for me”.

The deal was completed on Tuesday and continues a special fortnight for “The Beast”.

Two rounds ago, he brought up his 200th first-grade appearance, marking the landmark with two tries in a 32-22 win over the Wests Tigers.

Last weekend, he dotted down again in the 28-24 loss to North Queensland for his 141st try, taking him past the retired Nigel Vagana as the leading New Zealand tryscorer in NRL history.

The pair were room-mates during the 2005 Tri-Nations when Vatuvei gained the first of his 27 Test caps.

“Nigel is a person I looked up to,” he said.

“When I made the Kiwis he was my first roomie. He showed me the way and looked after me really well.”

Vagana – who played for the Warriors, Canterbury, Cronulla and South Sydney – tweeted his congratulations after Vatuvei eclipsed him on the NRL try-scoring list.

Vatuvei replied asking for a rematch at pool.

“He’s one-up on me on the pool table so I have to get him back,” he said.

It’s the second time Vatuvei has relieved Vagana of a try-scoring record.

Last November, his double in New Zealand’s win over Australia in the Four Nations final took his Test tally to 20, the most by a Kiwi.

At 29, Vatuvei is showing little sign of losing his attacking potency, with six tries already in seven NRL matches this year.

Three more and he will complete the unprecedented feat of hitting double figures for touchdowns in 10 successive seasons.

“I know at some point I’ll eventually slow down,” he said.

“I just have to be smart with looking after my body and doing everything right.”


Born: Auckland, March 4, 1986

Height: 189cm

Weight: 108kg

NRL Debut: v South Sydney, Sydney, May 23, 2004

NRL appearances (tries): 201 (141)

NRL points: 564 (141 tries)

Test debut: v Australia, Sydney, October 15, 2005

Tests (tries): 27 (20)

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