The burden of the Warriors’ disastrous 2015 season was beginning to affect former captain Simon Mannering’s personal life, new skipper Ryan Hoffman has revealed.
Mannering stunned the rugby league fraternity this month by standing down as captain after six years, saying he wasn’t enjoying his football any more due to the pressures of the job.
But Hoffman, who often roomed with the New Zealand skipper on away trips, said it was much more.
“He was starting to resent it and it was really affecting his footy and home life,” Hoffman told AAP.
“I was his roomie and what he does on the field – he makes 60 tackles and 15 hit-ups every week – it wears down on you.
“We had a yarn and we realised something needed to change.
“I never brought it up – he actually came up with it himself – and he said maybe he needed to change what he was doing so that’s where it is now.”
NSW State of Origin star Hoffman said the leadership group had started the off-season looking at ways to ease the load Mannering had to carry last season and be more efficient.
“One thing we identified was the toll it took on Simon last year, so we were looking at doing co-captains anyway,” Hoffman said.
“But he realised he was going to have the same sort of role so the best thing for him was to stand down.
“It took a courageous decision but what’s best for the team is a happy and healthy Simon Mannering.”
Expectations rose for the Auckland-based club following a signing spree that netted them Kiwi representatives Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke.
But pressure ramped up even more when they capped a 46-10 hammering in their final trial match against St George-Illawarra, a result Hoffman said hurt more than a hitout normally would.
“We got a bit of a kick up the backside and got a bit of the egos hurt a bit so we might’ve needed that,” Hoffman said.
The Warriors open their season against the Wests Tigers on March 5.