AAP Rugby

Double-centurion Crockett’s loyalty lauded

By AAP Newswire

Wyatt Crockett has attracted praise for his loyalty and longevity ahead of a milestone 200th Super Rugby appearance.

It has also won him an unconventional honour.

The Crusaders prop will have a stadium named after him, for one day only, when the defending champions host the Highlanders.

When Crockett comes off the bench at Christchurch's "Wyatt Crockett Stadium" - normally AMI Stadium - he will become the competition's first double centurion.

Coach Scott Robertson joined those lauding Crockett's loyalty to the Crusaders.

Most other players to have surpassed 150 games have represented two or more teams.

"To reach 200 games at this level takes an immense amount of talent, commitment and personal sacrifice over a long period of time," Robertson said.

"Crocky certainly sets the benchmark for passion and professionalism among our group."

It is the final season for the 35-year-old, who announced his All Blacks retirement in February after 71 Tests.

The destructive loosehead's Super Rugby debut was also against the Highlanders, in 2006, when he remembers dislocating his thumb a few minutes in. And winning the game.

He was named New Zealand's Super Rugby player of the year in 2011, a rare gong for a prop.

Crockett's record looks safe for some time.

Second on the list is retired Brumbies and Reds hooker Stephen Moore (177 games).

Chiefs loose forward Liam Messam (175) should edge past Moore this month, but he is leaving for a contract in France.

Evergreen Reds flanker George Smith (164), who turns 38 next week, is still to declare his plans for next year.


199 - Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders)

177 - Stephen Moore (Brumbies, Reds)

175 - Keven Mealamu (Blues, Chiefs); Liam Messam (Chiefs)

164 - George Smith (Reds, Brumbies)

162 - Nathan Sharpe (Force, Reds)

160 - Ma'a Nonu (Hurricanes, Highlanders, Blues)