Price proud to join elite 300-club - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Price proud to join elite 300-club

By Tamara McLean 11/03/2009 05:06:07 PM Comments (0)

Warriors skipper Steve Price, the elder statesman of rugby league, says he's proud to be joining an elite group of sportsmen when he racks up a triple century this Saturday.

Price will have played 78 games for the Warriors to add to his 222 games with the Bulldogs when he hits the field in the season opener against Parramatta in Auckland.

Asked what the 300-game milestone, achieved by just 10 other men in the history of the sport, means to him, Price joked: "It means I've been around for a while."

Price, dubbed the most popular Australian in New Zealand, turns 35 on Thursday, making him the oldest player in the NRL following the retirement of fellow Warriors prop Ruben Wiki.

Wiki made the 300-game milestone last year and Price said it was an honour to be joining him.

"I can't believe it but I'm very proud of it," he said.

"It's very special. There's only been 10 guys that have previously done it, so to become a member of that club is pretty exciting when you consider how many have played in the NRL since 1908."

He said it was extra special to be reaching the milestone on Warriors home turf, Mt Smart Stadium, but asked which game he remembered most, it was one played with the Bulldogs in 2002.

"It was the last game of the year against the Broncos. They had to win to finish minor premiers. We had nothing to play for. We absolutely belted them.

"I've never felt closer to the Bulldogs supporters than that night.

"It was very emotional and probably one of the best ways to finish the season other than to have a trophy with you."

Turning his attention to Saturday's game, he said he expected the Eels, under the new direction of former Warriors coach Daniel Anderson, to be tough competition.

"I'm sure they were very disappointed with how the season finished for them last year. You hear the stories of Jarryd Hayne and all the other guys saying they're going to turn things around," he said.

"If their minds are on the game, they're very hard to stop."

Joining Price will be four first-time Warriors - ex-Brisbane winger Denan Kemp, his Broncos team-mate Joel Moon, former Queensland State of Origin backrower Jacob Lillyman and junior Warrior Leeson Ah Mau.

Missing will be veteran Stacey Jones, who has a calf injury, and Evarn Tuimavave, with a neck strain.

Coach Ivan Cleary said the team to take on Parramatta was selected with just that game in mind.

"We're approaching this year with a squad mentality. We have 34 players competing for spots and these are the 17 we've picked for this week."

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