New Zealand Warriors veteran Manu Vatuvei has extended his contract with the NRL club to a record 15 season after signing a new three-year deal.
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The new deal means Vatuvei will remain at the Warriors until at least the end of the 2018 season.
Vatuvei said he looked at other options including rugby union, but said he wanted to stay at the Warriors for the remainder of his career.
The 29-year-old will make his 202nd appearance for the club against the Gold Coast Titans on ANZAC Day, a week after setting the club’s try-scoring record.
“I’m so grateful to the club for giving me the chance to stay here this long,” Vatuvei said in a club statement.
“My manager Pete (Peter Brown) looked at some other options including rugby union but I wanted to stay at the Vodafone Warriors. It has always been my vision growing up at the club to be a Warrior for life.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way, the players, the coaches, the staff and all the members and fans who have given me so much support through the years.
“I’m really pleased to have this contract and I’ll do everything I can to repay the faith the club has shown in me.”
Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden said Vatuvei was held in high regard at the club.
“It’s a tribute to Manu and a reflection of the regard we hold him in that he is set to extend his career to 15 seasons. That’s an exceptional achievement,” Vatuvei said.
“He is hugely important to our side and to the club as a whole. The contribution he continues to make is outstanding and he has certainly started this season very well.”
Only two others players have matches Vatuvei’s feat of representing the Warriors in 12 seasons – Stacey Jones (1995-2005 and 2009) and Jerome Ropati (2003-2014) – while skipper Simon Mannering is currently in his 11th season.
Vatuvei only needs to score four more tries during the 2015 season to reach the incredible feat of scoring 10 or more tries in 10 consecutive seasons.
He also holds the record as the highest Test try-scorer for New Zealand, scoring 20 in 27 games.