Ryan Hoffman will become the third player to reach the 300-game career milestone while at the Vodafone Warriors when he lines up against the Gold Coast Titans in Saturday’s 14th-round NRL encounter at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
Ruben Wiki became the first (and still the only) New Zealander to achieve the feat in the 16th-round match against Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval in 2008 while Steve Price followed in the season-opening encounter with Parramatta at Mount Smart Stadium in 2009.
At the time Wiki was only the 10th player to hit the magic mark and Price the 11th.
The 33-year-old Hoffman, in his third and final season with the Vodafone Warriors, will be the 27th player to join the 300-game club. He would have been there earlier but for the season he had with Wigan in the English Super League in 2011.
Since resuming his NRL career in 2012 he has played 129 of a possible 139 games as well as continuing to rank as one of the competition’s most prolific try-scoring forwards. His try against Parramatta on Saturday was his fifth in 13 matches this year and the 69th of his career since his debut with Melbourne in 2003.
“Ryan is one of the most professional players I’ve been associated with,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney, who played alongside Hoffman across the last two seasons of his NRL career and then worked with him as an assistant coach at the Storm from 2006-2010.
“It’s a fantastic achievement to reach 300 games in this competition and a tribute to his durability and resilience, especially being an 80-minute back rower.
“With Hoff you know what you will get from him every day of the week.”
The Vodafone Warriors head to the Gold Coast coming off a disappointing 24-32 loss to Parramatta which had followed their impressive display in the 28-10 success against the Brisbane Broncos.
The Vodafone Warriors will be without prop James Gavet, who has been ruled out with a minor hamstring strain picked up in training today.
Jacob Lillyman and Ben Matulino have been named as the starting front rowers with Sam Lisone, Albert Vete, Bunty Afoa, Toafofoa Sipley and Ligi Sao on the extended eight-man bench.
The Titans have lost their last two starts to Manly (10-30) and North Queensland (8-20) following a run of three wins over Cronulla, Newcastle and Melbourne.
When the Vodafone Warriors and the Titans met at Mount Smart Stadium in April, the home side prevailed 28-22 making it 12 wins in the last 13 clashes stretching back to 2011. Included in the sequence is a run of six straight wins at Cbus Super Stadium, the most recent in round 22 last year when they won 24-14 on a day when Jarryd Hayne debuted for the Titans.
In 21 encounters since the two sides first met in 2007, the Vodafone Warriors have had 14 wins to Gold Coast’s seven.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v GOLD COAST TITANS
Cbus Super Stadium, Robina
3.00pm, Saturday, June 10
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DAVID FUSITU’A
3 BLAKE AYSHFORD
4 SOLOMONE KATA
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 KIERAN FORAN
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 JACOB LILLYMAN
9 ISSAC LUKE
10 BEN MATULINO
11 BODENE THOMPSON
12 RYAN HOFFMAN
13 SIMON MANNERING
14 NATHANIEL ROACHE
15 SAM LISONE
16 ALBERT VETE
17 BUNTY AFOA
18 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD
20 LIGI SAO
21 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY
22 MAFOA’AEATA HINGANO
HEAD COACH | STEPHEN KEARNEY