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 John Simon
Age: 48
D.O.B: 29 May 1972
Place of Birth:
Former Clubs: Parramatta, Illawarra Steelers, Sydney City Roosters
Weight: 90 kg
Height: 177 cm
Position: 14. Reserve
It was a case of Simon simply being the saviour for the Warriors last year. The former Australian and State of Origin player was languishing in Parramatta's reserve grade side, unwanted by Eels coach Brian Smith. Initial attempts to bring him to Auckland to resurrect his first grade career weren't completely successful; Simon was reluctant to uproot his family. But perseverance paid off, Simon eventually agreeing to make the Warriors his fourth NRL club. While he was a proven and experienced scrumhalf, the Warriors already had Stacey Jones there. They needed a stand-off and, in Simon, they found an answer to all their prayers (not least his kicking game). One game Simon was a tryscorer for a winning Parramatta side against the Warriors (his only appearance for the Eels in 1999), the next he was wearing Warriors colours against Penrith - and a week later he was captaining his new side! It was a dizzy, thrilling ride for a man who was arguably the most critical influence in turning the Warriors into a genuine force for the 2000 season. When he emerged on the first grade scene for Illawarra in 1990 he was a 17-year-old schoolboy sensation tipped to a very long way in the game. Needs only eight games this year to rack up 200 NRL appearances.

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