Wiki Extends Contract With Warriors
View larger imageRuben WikiÃ‚Â©Getty Images / Phil Walter
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12/04/2006XtraMSNWarriors vice-captain Ruben Wiki has extended his contract with the club to the end of the 2008 NRL season.
Wednesday's announcement adds to a special week for the 33-year-old Kiwi skipper as he prepares to become just the 49th player in the competition's 98-year history to appear in 250 first-grade matches.
He's set to achieve the feat in unusual circumstances on Saturday night when he has his first experience of playing in Canberra for the Warriors.
CEO Wayne Scurrah said the club was thrilled to retain Wiki's services for another year.
"We value Ruben's leadership and personal qualities extremely highly," said Scurrah.
"He was considering seeing out his career in the English Super League but it was vital for us to keep him here.
"As the Kiwi captain, he's respected as an outstanding New Zealander and we're delighted he's agreed to stay on."
Wiki is excited about extending his NRL career into a 16th season in 2008.
"It's been a great move coming home to Auckland with my family and I couldn't be happier with the Warriors," he said.
"Right now I'm concerned about this season and helping the club as much as I can.
"By 2008 I'll be 35 but that's just a number. It's all about putting in the work at training."
Wiki has typically downplayed the significance of his 250th first-grade appearance in Canberra on Saturday night.
"I'm not worrying about that," he said.
"I just want to help the team get back into winning form after our loss to Manly."
Wiki made his first-grade debut with Canberra in 1993 and savoured grand final success the following year when the Raiders beat Canterbury.
After 12 seasons and 225 appearances for Canberra, he came home to Auckland in late 2004 on a three-year contract with the Warriors.
He made such an impression he was named the Warriors' player of the year in his debut season with the club.
Later in the year he also won the New Zealand Rugby League's premier player award after leading the Kiwis to their historic Tri-Nations title win against the Kangaroos; during the campaign he became the world record holder for test appearances, lifting his career tally to 50.