Hoffman says captaincy won’t change game

New Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman can’t see his playing style changing with his appointment – apart from being allowed to talk to referees.

Hoffman, 32, will take over from Simon Mannering when the NRL season begins, after Mannering’s decision to step down following six years in the job.

“I’ve always seen myself as quite a vocal person on the field so I don’t think anything will change,” he said.

“All it’s going to be is, I think, quite a few more commitments off the field, and I’ll actually be allowed to talk to the refs now, which will be good.”

Mannering will lead out the Warriors for one last time in their final pre-season hit-out against St George Illawarra in his home town of Nelson on Saturday.

The back rower, who is also Kiwis skipper, cited being weighed down by the outside duties associated with the captaincy role as the reason he decided to step down at the Warriors.

Hoffman is in his second year at the Auckland club, after 11 seasons with the Melbourne Storm, and he said he was honoured to be made captain in a “one-club nation”.

He said Mannering’s standing as a leader within the squad wouldn’t change.

“His status within the team and his status within our leadership group certainly hasn’t diminished,” he said.

“It’s probably gone forward now, because he has made such a selfless decision.

“If Simon had any sort of ego, he would have dug his heels in, but he knows what’s best for him and what’s best for the club going forward is a happy Simon Mannering. I think we’re going to get that now.”

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