Sam Whitelock was not supposed to be involved in Super Rugby at all this year, but tomorrow he will join an elite group of Crusaders by playing his 150th game for the team.
The 31-year-old All Black lock had received special dispensation to miss Super Rugby and play in Japan this year, but the coronavirus outbreak saw him return home early.
Linking up again with the Crusaders, Whitelock is the seventh Crusader to reach 150 Super Rugby caps for the team.
Ahead of their clash against the Chiefs, he says: “It’s been awesome.
“For myself, a real special [memory] was being here [at the Crusaders] with my three brothers [Adam, George and Luke].
“We’ve been through some pretty challenging times but it’s been enjoyable the whole time.”
Whitelock, who has played 117 Tests for the All Blacks, says he will auction his jersey from the game to raise money for a rural well-being group that supports farmers.
The Crusaders face a Chiefs side who have lost a club record seven successive games across both Super Rugby and New Zealand’s domestic “Aotearoa” competition.