NRL: Warriors promise better than 'Mannering Stadium' renaming

Warriors stalwart Simon Mannering won't have a stadium named after him this week, but his club has promised a more permanent way of marking his 300th game.

The Auckland-based NRL outfit has officially sold out Mt Smart Stadium for its regular-season finale against Canberra Raiders on Friday, a fixture that brings up Mannering's career milestone.

About 25,600 fans will pay their respects at a game that may also prove to be the retiring second-rower's final appearance at the venue, with the Warriors currently facing a road trip for the NRL playoffs next week.

But chief executive Cameron George says the club against the recent trend of temporarily renaming stadiums after departing players.

The Warriors did that last year for legendary wing Manu Vatuvei, when he left to take up a contract with English club Salford.

More recently, All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett lent his name to Christchurch Stadium on the occasion of his 200th Super Rugby game for the Crusaders. Southland netball stalwart Wendy Frew enjoyed the same privilege for her final home outing with the Southern Steel this month.

"We looked at all angles," says George. "We did that with Manu and a lot of other clubs have done that since, but we didn't want to throw Simon among the normality of all that.

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"Instead, we've come up with different scenarios that will certainly recognise his standing on a more permanent basis."

George chuckles at the suggestion that the down-to-earth Mannering might have vetoed the stadium-naming as too ostentatious.

"He's certainly not appreciative of what we are doing," admits George. "He's very humbled by it all, but I don't know how many times he has asked us to stop doing things for him."  

Mannering has been named to start against the Raiders, with the Warriors already assured of a playoffs spot and still with a chance of hosting a first-round game, if they can run up a score.