Sharks star backrower Luke Lewis will join an elite group tonight when he takes the field against South Sydney Rabbitohs, becoming the 28th player to achieve the 300-game milestone.
Lewis will be presented with the match ball from his 300th game following the round-20 clash at Southern Cross Group Stadium, officially making him the latest member of the exclusive ‘300 Club’.
Debuting for Penrith in 2001, Lewis played 208 games for the Panthers before joining the Sharks in 2013m where he has since played 91 NRL games for the Cronulla club.
In an illustrious career, Lewis, the Clive Churchill Medallist as man of the match in the Sharks Grand Final victory, has also represented Australia in 16 occasions and the NSW Blues at Origin level 17 times, with his form at the Sharks in 2017 showing plenty of life remains in his 33-year-old legs.
Shane Flanagan coached him in a Junior Kangaroos team long before reuniting with Lewis in 2013 at the Sharks,
“Everyone thought he was going to sail off into the sunset and retire and his form would resemble that, but his form has been fantastic,” Flanagan said. “This year would be as good as any year he’s played.
“He’s been a good quality person for our game, there’s been no poor stories about Luke Lewis and he should hold his head up when he runs out tonight.”
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg was also high in his praise of the contribution Lewis has made to the game over 17 seasons.
“What Luke has done over the course of his long career is quite unique and certainly remarkable,” Greenberg said.
“He has won Premierships with two different Clubs, at the beginning and then again towards the back-end of his career.
“With the Panthers, he did so as a winger, and then with the Sharks 13 years later, as a back-rower, in a performance which won him the Clive Churchill medal.
“Along the way, he has also represented NSW as well as Australia.
“On behalf of all Rugby League fans I congratulate him on this achievement,” he said.
Lewis joins a who’s who of great players and outstanding clubmen, included amongst them four who have represented the Sharks in Andrew Ettingshausen, Chris Heighington, Brett Kimmorley and John Morris.
THE 300 CLUB (27 players)
355 Darren Lockyer Brisbane 1995-2011
350 Terry Lamb Wests, Canterbury 1980-1996
349 Steve Menzies Manly, Northern Eagles 1993-2008
348 Cameron Smith Melbourne 2002-2017
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
318 Jason Croker Canberra 1991-2006
317 Hazem El Masri Bulldogs 1996-2009
315 Paul Langmack Canterbury, Wests, Easts 1983-1999
315 Luke Priddis C'berra, B'bane, P'rith, St George Ill 1997-2010
314 Cooper Cronk Melbourne 2004-2017
313 Steve Price Bulldogs, Warriors 1994-2009
313 Brent Kite St George Illawarra, Manly, Penrith 2002-2015
312 Ruben Wiki Canberra, Warriors 1993-2008
311 Chris Heighington Wests Tigers, Cronulla 2003-2017
309 Petero Civoniceva Brisbane, Penrith 1998-2012
307 Brett Kimmorley N’tle, H'ter, Melb, N Eag, C'nulla, C’bury 1995-2010
303 Anthony Watmough Northern Eagles, Manly, Parramatta 2002-2015
302 Anthony Minichiello Sydney Roosters 2000-2014
301 Luke Ricketson Sydney Roosters 1991-2005
301 Ryan Hoffman Melbourne, Warriors 2003-2017
300 Scott Prince N'th Qld, B'bane, Wests Tig, Gold C'st 1998-2013
300 John Morris N'tle, P'matta, Wests Tigers, Cronulla 2001-2014