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Club Greats Seuseu And Wiki Return To Vodafone Warriors

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Club Greats Seuseu And Wiki Return To Vodafone Warriors

Auckland, New Zealand, December 13, 2009 - Vodafone Warriors legends Jerry Seuseu and Ruben Wiki are back in the fold filling positions in the club's restructured football department.

Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah today confirmed 11-Test Kiwi Seuseu (35) had been signed as the new welfare and education manager and would also have added responsibilities as team manager of the Vodafone Junior Warriors in the National Youth Competition (NYC).

He joins his 55-Test world record-holding former New Zealand team-mate Wiki (36), who has just completed signing formalities as the club's high performance assistant although he has been working with the NRL squad since the players began their off-season training programme early last month.

Scurrah said the club would benefit enormously from having two such highly-respected and admired former players back at the Vodafone Warriors.

"It's a real boost for us to be able to bring back Jerry and Ruben," he said.

"They were hugely popular as players in their time with the Vodafone Warriors, they both had outstanding careers and have great standing in the sporting community.

"Ruben, as expected, had an immediate impact from the moment he linked up with the NRL squad five weeks ago and we know Jerry will be a positive influence around the club as well.

"Jerry will be responsible for our welfare and education programmes for all players from our NRL, NYC and development squads as well as filling the team manager's job for the Vodafone Junior Warriors."

After a 132-game career with the Vodafone Warriors from 1997-2004, Seuseu ended his playing career after a two-year stint with Wigan in 2005-2006. From 2007 until recently he was in charge of the Auckland Rugby League schools' programme in his role as a football development officer. He's a qualified school teacher with two degrees - a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of education.

Since retiring in 2008 after 312 NRL games - 87 of them for the Vodafone Warriors - Wiki has been involved in a range of projects and has now added a part-time contract to rejoin the club in a role which will involve him mentoring players.

During his 53-game Vodafone Warriors career from 2000-2002, head coach Ivan Cleary played alongside Seuseu many times, including the 2002 NRL grand final.

Cleary had ample encounters with Wiki as a playing opponent before working with him as assistant coach in 2005 when Wiki moved to Mount Smart Stadium and then in the following three seasons as head coach.

"These two men bring impressive qualities to the club first and foremost as people," said Cleary.

"Ruben has already proved an outstanding acquisition in his new role. We missed his presence once his playing career finished and it's really good to have him back around the place.

"Jerry will be the same. He was a tough competitor on the field but off it he has great people skills and expertise in welfare and education field which will serve us well."

Seuseu and Wiki, both named player of the year during their time with the Vodafone Warriors (Seuseu in 2001 and Wiki in 2005), said they were elated to be back at the club.

"I had a long career here and will always be grateful for the opportunity the club gave me," said Seuseu.

"To be able to come back now in such an important role is a real honour."

And Wiki said: "It's been exciting coming back into the club working with the boys and trying to do my bit. It feels like I've never been away. I want to do all I can to help Ivan and the coaching staff to get the team back on track."

With Seuseu and Wiki signed, four former Vodafone Warriors are now involved in the club's football department - foundation captain Dean Bell being the other one - while assistant coach Tony Iro also boasts a substantial playing record.

In fact, the quintet has the accumulated experience of more than 1500 matches at top level in both a playing and coaching capacity. JERRY SEUSEU - WELFARE AND EDUCATION MANAGER

Born: April 19, 1974 Birthplace: Auckland, NZ Previous Roles: Auckland Rugby League football development officer 2007-2009 Auckland premier team trainer 2008-2009 Auckland elite under-16 trainer 2008-2009 Playing Record (Tests): Kiwi Number: 692 11 Tests for Kiwis 2001-2004 4 points (1 try) 4 Tests for Samoa 2000 Playing Record (Club): NRL: Vodafone Warriors 1997-2004 Club Number: 50 132 appearances 40 points (10 tries) English Super League: Wigan Warriors 2005-2006 43 games 4 points (1 try) Other Clubs: Mangere East Hawks (Auckland) Counties Manukau Heroes (Lion Red Cup) Other Honours: Auckland University Blues Award 2003 Vodafone Warriors player of the year 2001 Warriors reserve grade player of the year 1997 Lion Red Cup player of the year 1996 RUBEN WIKI - HIGH PERFORMANCE ASSISTANT

Born: January 21, 1973 Birthplace: Auckland, NZ Previous Positions: Kiwi trainer 2008 Anzac Test and Rugby League World Cup Playing Record (Tests): Kiwi Number: 655 55 Tests for Kiwis 1994-2006 60 points (15 tries) 18 tests as Kiwi captain 2003-2006 Playing Record (Club): NRL: 312 appearances 1993-2008 Canberra Raiders 1993-2004 225 appearances 240 points (60 tries) Vodafone Warriors 2005-2006 Club Number: 123 87 appearances 48 points (12 tries) Other Clubs: Otara Scorpions (Auckland) Otahuhu Leopards (Auckland) Auckland Vulcans (New South Wales Cup) Other Honours: ONZM (Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit) 2007 Ken Stephen Medal 2007 All Golds 2007-2008 Samoa Residents 2009 New Zealand Rugby League player of the year 2003 & 2005 Vodafone Warriors player of the year 2005 Canberra player of the year 2002 & 2003 Canberra clubman of the year 1998 & 2001

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