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Crusaders Thorne and Ralph reach milestone

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Crusaders duo Reuben Thorne and Caleb Ralph have each been presented with a greenstone mere for achieving the outstanding milestone of playing 100 Super 14 rugby matches.

The presentations were made by New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Jock Hobbs after Saturday night’s clash with the Blues at Jade Stadium.


The pair reached the special milestone when the Crusaders played the Reds in Brisbane on February 18, in round two of the Rebel Sport Super 14.


Thorne and Ralph joined Highlanders hooker Anton Oliver, Hurricanes midfielder Tana Umaga and former Crusaders halfback Justin Marshall as the only New Zealand players to have played 100 Super 14 rugby matches.


Thorne has achieved the feat playing solely for the Crusaders while Ralph has previously played for two other franchises, the Chiefs (three games) and Blues (six games).


In congratulating the two players, NZRU Deputy Chief Executive Steve Tew said to play 100 Super 14 rugby matches was an outstanding achievement.


‘They have joined a very exclusive group of players. This milestone reflects their professionalism, loyalty and commitment to their team mates, the Crusaders and New Zealand rugby,’ Mr Tew said.


‘Both Reuben and Caleb epitomise what it takes to be successful at this level and it is fitting that they have both enjoyed considerable success during their careers as Crusaders.’


The NZRU has initiated a tradition of presenting a greenstone mere (traditional treasured Maori heirloom) to players who achieve this outstanding milestone.


New Zealand players who have played 100 Super 14 rugby matches are:


Anton Oliver (Highlanders)


Justin Marshall (Crusaders)


Tana Umaga (Hurricanes)


Caleb Ralph (Crusaders)


Reuben Thorne (Crusaders)


New Zealand players on the verge of 100 Super 14 rugby matches are:


Greg Somerville (Crusaders, 90 games)


Doug Howlett (Blues, 86 games)


Leon MacDonald (Crusaders, 85 games)

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