The NRL has struck a special medal to honour Melbourne captain Cameron Smith, who will on Saturday break the all-time record for NRL matches.
The Queensland skipper will be presented with the medal by NRL CEO Todd Greenberg following the Melbourne-Parramatta Qualifying Final at AAMI Park, which will be his 356th NRL match.
Smith will break Darren Lockyer’s all-time premiership appearance record of 355 matches against the Eels.
Like Lockyer, Smith has played all matches for one club.
“This is quite simply an extraordinary achievement,” Greenberg said.
“Cameron has been an incredible player over the course of his long career with Melbourne, but more than that, he has been a wonderful leader and an ambassador for rugby league.
“It will be a privilege to be in Melbourne to be a part of the celebrations for this momentous achievement.
“As a game, we felt it was necessary to honour the achievement with something unique.
“The game owes Cameron an enormous debt of gratitude and on behalf of the NRL, I congratulate him on this magnificent achievement.”
The concept was created by the NRL’s Awards and Recognition Committee, and will be replicated for further significant records in the game. It will be the first medal of its kind presented to a player.
THE 300 CLUB (29 players) (as of September 7, 2017)
App Player Club/s Years
355 Darren Lockyer Brisbane 1995-2011
355 Cameron Smith Melbourne 2002-2017
350 Terry Lamb Wests, Canterbury 1980-1996
349 Steve Menzies Manly, Northern Eagles 1993-2008
347 Corey Parker Brisbane 2001-2016
336 Brad Fittler Penrith, Sydney Roosters 1989-2004
332 Cliff Lyons Norths, Manly 1985-1999
330 Nathan Hindmarsh Parramatta 1998-2012
328 Andrew Ettingshausen Cronulla 1983-2000
325 Geoff Gerard Parramatta, Manly, Penrith 1974-1989
320 Cooper Cronk Melbourne 2004-2017
318 Jason Croker Canberra 1991-2006
317 Hazem El Masri Bulldogs 1996-2009
316 Chris Heighington Wests Tigers, Cronulla 2003-2017
315 Paul Langmack Canterbury, Wests, Easts 1983-1999
315 Luke Priddis C'berra, B'bane, P'rith, St George Ill 1997-2010
313 Steve Price Bulldogs, Warriors 1994-2009
313 Brent Kite St George Illawarra, Manly, Penrith 2002-2015
312 Ruben Wiki Canberra, Warriors 1993-2008
309 Petero Civoniceva Brisbane, Penrith 1998-2012
307 Brett Kimmorley N’castle, H'ter, Melb, N Eag, C'nulla, C’bury 1995-2010
306 Luke Lewis Penrith, Cronulla 2001-2017
305 Ryan Hoffman Melbourne, Warriors 2003-2017
303 Paul Gallen Cronulla 2001-2017
303 Anthony Watmough Northern Eagles, Manly, Parramatta 2002-2015
302 Anthony Minichiello Sydney Roosters 2000-2014
301 Luke Ricketson Sydney Roosters 1991-2005
300 Scott Prince N'th Qld, B'bane, Wests Tig, Gold Coast 1998-2013
300 John Morris N'castle, P'matta, Wests Tigers, C'nulla 2001-2014