With a career as long and decorated as his, Ryan Hoffman has had any number of big games from grand finals to Test matches and State of Origin battles.
On Saturday, he adds another huge day to the list when he’ll be given the honour of leading the Vodafone Warriors out onto Cbus Super Stadium for their 14th-round NRL encounter with Gold Coast.
It’s a key contest for Hoffman and his Vodafone Warriors team-mates in the context of their 2017 campaign as they seek to rebound from last week’s disappointing loss to Parramatta.
And it’s also significant for the 33-year-old Hoffman personally as he engages in his milestone 300th first-grade battle. It’s a fantastic achievement, a feat matched by only 26 players before him and a mark he would have reached sooner had he not broken his NRL career by spending the 2011 season with Wigan.
Hoffman is the third player to join the 300 club while representing the Vodafone Warriors; Ruben Wiki (2008) and Steve Price (2009) were the 10th and 11th players in the competition’s history to hit a triple century of appearances.
‘Hoff’ will be presented with the match ball from his 300th game following the encounter with the Titans. It will cap a day and a week which has had extra meaning for him, one full of reflections as he has looked back on a run of games which started as a teenager with the Storm in 2003.
Hoffman went on to play 245 times for Melbourne with his 55th game for the Vodafone Warriors taking him to the next level. Among his appearances have been four NRL grand finals.
At Friday night's team dinner, he'll be surrounded by not only his team-mates and staff but also his family including his wife Mel, their two children and Hoffman's father (former Canberra hooker Jay) and mother. There'll be video tributes, a highlights reel and the man of the moment will be presented with his commemorative match jersey.
A breakdown of his in-game statistics makes revealing reading. Aside from the number of games and the 69 tries he has scored (among the most by a forward in the competition’s history), these are some of the vital details:
Total runs | 3699 (average 12.37 runs a game)
Total metres | 28,792 (average 96.29 metres a game)
Total line breaks | 83
Total tackle breaks | 485
Total offloads | 256
Total tackles | 6604 (average 22.08 tackles a game)
Career wins | 188
Career draws | 2
Career losses | 109
“Ryan has achieved an enormous amount over the course of his career,” says NRL CEO Todd Greenberg.
“He has represented New South Wales as well as Australia, while he has also captained his club (doing so with the Vodafone Warriors last vyear).
“He is an inspiring player and leader through his actions and the way he carries himself on and off the field.
“On behalf of all rugby league fans I congratulate him on this achievement.”
NRL | 300 CLUB
355 Darren Lockyer (Brisbane) 1995-2011
350 Terry Lamb (Western Suburbs, Canterbury-Bankstown) 1980-1996
349 Steve Menzies (Manly, Northern Eagles) 1993-2008
347 Corey Parker (Brisbane) 2001-2016
346 Cameron Smith (Melbourne) 2002-2017
336 Brad Fittler (Penrith, Sydney Roosters) 1989-2004
332 Cliff Lyons (North Sydney, Manly) 1985-1999
330 Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta) 1998-2012
328 Andrew Ettingshausen (Cronulla) 1983-2000
325 Geoff Gerard (Parramatta, Manly, Penrith) 1974-1989
318 Jason Croker (Canberra) 1991-2006
317 Hazem El Masri (Canterbury-Bankstown) 1996-2009
315 Paul Langmack (Canterbury-Bankstown, Western Suburbs, Eastern Suburbs (1983-1999)
315 Luke Priddis (Canberra, Brisbane, Penrith, St George Illawarra) 1997-2010
313 Steve Price (Canterbury-Bankstown, Vodafone Warriors) 1994-2009
313 Brent Kite (St George Illawarra, Manly, Penrith) 2002-2015
313 Cooper Cronk (Melbourne) 2004-2017
312 Ruben Wiki (Canberra, Vodafone Warriors) 1993-2008
309 Petero Civoniceva (Brisbane, Penrith) 1998-2012
307 Brett Kimmorley (Newcastle, Hunter, Melbourne, Northern Eagles, Cronulla, Canterbury-Bankstown) 1995-2010
306 Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers, Cronulla) 2003-2017
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 (North Queensland, Brisbane, Wests Tigers, Gold Coast) 1998-2013
300 John Morris (Newcastle, Parramatta, Wests Tigers, Cronulla) 2001-2014
299 Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne, Vodafone Warriors) 2003-2017
- Stats courtesy of David Middleton, League Information Services