Luke Whitelock to play 100th Investec Super Rugby game
- June 7, 2019
Highlanders captain Luke Whitelock will reach 100 Investec Super Rugby games tonight, when the Highlanders take to the field against the Bulls at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The dynamic loose forward will become just the 62nd player to achieve 100 Investec Super Rugby caps, joining an elite group that includes current Highlanders teamamtes, Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, and most recently Elliot Dixon.
Whitelock said it was special to join a select group of current and former players who have all played an important role in shaping the game.
“It’s a huge honour to play for this team, and I never would have dreamed of reaching 100 games when I made my Super Rugby debut seven years ago.
“My clearest memories of the 100 games are my debuts for both the Crusaders and the Highlanders. I have to say eight seasons have gone by very quickly and I count myself as fortunate to have had the experiences that I have had. If I were to pick one special game from that time period it would be the Highlanders win over the Lions in 2017.
”The 28-year-old five-Test All Black’s milestone achievement will be acknowledged in front of a home crowd tonight, when New Zealand Rugby (NZR) present him with a traditional pounamu mere - given to players who play 100 Investec Super Rugby games for New Zealand sides – at the conclusion of the match.
Highlanders Head Coach, Aaron Mauger, said: “Luke has many great qualities that we look for in a Highlander man - strength of character, loyalty, dependability and above all, hard-working.
"He has been a leader on and off the field during his time with us and its fantastic he will bring up his 100th super game at home this weekend. We wish him and Claire all the best for the future”.
NZR Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said: "I’d like to congratulate Luke on reaching this exciting milestone as he joins a very special club of New Zealand players to reach 100 Super Rugby games.
“Luke has established himself as a talented player, and fine leader in the Highlanders. His loyalty and dedication to the game is second to none, and it’s fitting that his service will be recognised at Forsyth Barr”.
Whitelock, who will lead the side against the Bulls, also brings up 50 games for the Highlanders. The Fielding High School old-boy's career has also included captaining the Highlanders in their historic victory over the British and Irish Lions (2017) and leading the New Zealand Under 20s to Junior World Championship success in Italy (2011), earning an IRB Junior Player of the Year nomination.