Ropati signs one year contract extension with Warriors
Jerome Ropati is set to become the second longest serving Warrior in history after signing a new one-year contract with the club for the 2013 NRL season.by NRL
Jerome Ropati is set to become the second longest serving Warrior in history after signing a new one-year contract with the club for the 2013 NRL season.
The new deal means Ropati (27) will now draw level with Awen Guttenbeil as an 11-season Vodafone Warriors player with only Stacey Jones (12 seasons) ahead.
A veteran of 137 NRL games and 11 Tests for the Kiwis, the off-contract Ropati said it suited him to commit to a one-year deal only at this stage of his career.
"I'm more than happy to sign for just one season. It's a fair way for both parties and I'm confident my form this year and next will warrant a further extension," he said.
"I really appreciate the great support the Vodafone Warriors have given me throughout my career. This is the only club I want to play for.
"My focus right now is on doing the best I can each week this season. I've had some injury setbacks and I'm driven to get back to playing as much football as I can.
"I love it here. This is home for me. It's great being among the boys, the coaching staff and seeing all the young players coming through our system. I'd like to help as much as I can with the young boys."
Ropati, the club's One Community ambassador, said his off-field roles with the club are something he also takes a lot of pride in.
"Being involved in One Community programmes like the Konica Minolta League in Libraries initiative is really important to me," he said.
"Being involved in the community has become a critical part of being a professional footballer today, about developing yourself as a person. I get a lot of pleasure out of it."
Vodafone Warriors head coach Brian McClennan, who also worked with Ropati in the Kiwis, can't say enough about his value to the team and the club.
"Jerome's experience and versatility are so important for us," he said.
"With so many young players coming through into our NRL side, we need good people like Jerome to mentor them and help us with our culture.
"He's such a terrific person to have around the team and the club and it's great to have playing on for another season and hopefully beyond that as well."
Ropati started his career with a one-off appearance late in the 2003 season, going on to make his Kiwi debut in 2005 and being a key figure in the Kiwis' 2008 Rugby League World Cup success.
After a serious knee injury ended his campaign just three rounds into the 2011 NRL season he has made a full return this year, starting out in the centres but being moved to fullback for his last two appearances against South Sydney and Brisbane.
With two tries this season, Ropati is one of only six players to score more than 50 tries for the Vodafone Warriors.
Date of Birth: November 23, 1984
Birthplace: Auckland, NZ
Junior Club: Marist Saints
Rep Honours: 11 Tests for Kiwis 2005-2009, World Cup 2008, Tri Nations 2006, All Golds2008
NRL Debut: NZ Warriors v Sydney Roosters, Sydney Football Stadium, August 31, 2003 (Round 25)
Club Number: 108
NRL Career: 137 appearances, 2003-2012
NRL Points: 204 (51 tries)
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