In 2017, six players reached the milestone of 100 caps for Australian Super Rugby teams, bringing the total number of Australian players having achieved this feat to 50 since the formation of the competition in 1996.
To celebrate the significant contribution made by this exclusive group of long-serving players to Rugby in Australia, the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) will this year re-ignite the “RUPA Centurions Club”.
The Centurions Club was first established by RUPA in the mid-2000s. To qualify, inductees must have made a minimum of 100 appearances for Australian teams in the Super Rugby competition since the tournament’s inception in 1996. All 50 players to reach this milestone have been invited to attend the RUPA Awards Lunch on 13 December 2017, presented in partnership with Volvo.
Prior to the start of this year’s Super Rugby season, 44 Australian players had reached a Super Rugby ton. They were joined this year by James Hanson, Mitch Inman, Laurie Weeks and current Wallabies, Nick Phipps, Sekope Kepu and captain Michael Hooper.
Those six are amongst the 15 Centurions still playing professionally in Australia today, which includes George Smith, Dean Mumm, Matt Hodgson and Stephen Moore, who will next year add to his personal tally of 177 Super Rugby caps.
Chairman Bruce Hodgkinson SC said that it was important for RUPA and for Australian Rugby to celebrate the personal successes and milestones of players given the challenges Rugby has faced this year.
“To play 100 games or more in the toughest Rugby competition in the world is a remarkable achievement, and the calibre of the players to be inducted into the RUPA Centurions Club illustrates just that,” Hodgkinson said.
“Each of these Centurions has made immense contributions to Australian Rugby, with many playing for over a decade. As we reflect on the 50th player to reach 100 Super Rugby caps it is a pertinent time to shine the spotlight a little more brightly upon them.
“I congratulate each and every one of the Centurions to be inducted, and look forward to seeing as many of these players as possible enjoy their due recognition at the RUPA Awards Lunch later this year.”
RUPA Centurions Club (By year of reaching 100th cap for Australian teams in Super Rugby)
2004 - George Gregan
2006 - Brendan Cannon, Stephen Larkham, Jeremy Paul, Chris Whitaker, Bill Young
2007 - Chris Latham
2008 - David Lyons, Stirling Mortlock, Nathan Sharpe, George Smith
2009 - Sean Hardman, Scott Staniforth, Phil Waugh, Matt Dunning
2011 - Al Baxter, Mark Chisholm, Matt Giteau
2012 - Adam Freier, Mark Gerrard, Nic Henderson
2013 - Adam Ashley-Cooper, Greg Holmes, Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson
2014 - Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper, Saia Fainga'a, Matt Hodgson, James Horwill, Wycliff Palu
2015 - Ben Alexander, Mitch Chapman, Pek Cowan, Will Genia, Scott Higginbotham, Stephen Hoiles, Christian Leali’ifano
2016 - Dave Dennis, Rob Horne, Dean Mumm, Rob Simmons
2017 - James Hanson, Michael Hooper, Mitch Inman, Sekope Kepu, Nick Phipps, Laurie Weeks