Ryan Hoffman will join City coach Brad Fittler and Blues coach Laurie Daley on one game shy of equalling the record for the most number of appearances in the annual City-Country clash on Sunday.
The Melbourne Storm back-rower will play his seventh game for City when he leads the side in Dubbo as the oldest player on the field.
He will join Braith Anasta, Glenn Lazarus, Fittler and Daley just one game behind Andrew Ettingshausen (City), Steve Menzies (City) and Paul Sironen (City), who hold the record of eight for most City-Country appearances.
“I first played in 2006 and the only ones I have missed out on were in 2008 because I was in the Australian team and 2011 when I was playing overseas,” Hoffman said.
“You get these funny little records and milestones throughout your career. This would be great. Hopefully I’m still playing well and in this side. It’s good to always be thought of in these games. I always have seen it as an Origin trial and it’s good to put your name forward for NSW. I see it as a way to boost my chances for Origin and represent NSW.
“I look at it as one of those things that if you don’t play, you don’t give yourself every opportunity. That’s me personally. The camps are such an enjoyable time and the coaches I’ve had over the years and the players I’ve played with, I’ve always enjoyed it. Why wouldn’t I play?”
There has been plenty of criticism of the concept in recent years, which intensified after a poor crowd attended last year’s match in Coffs Harbour.
The legitimacy of the match as an Origin trial has also been questioned with several players opting to pull out of the game due to injury.
Hoffman, who played in all three Origin matches for the Blues last year, said he did not hold it against players who pulled out.
“People make their own personal choices and I’m not going to begrudge someone for that,” Hoffman said.
“Everyone has got their reasons why they can’t play or why they are not playing. All I have control over or worry about is myself, and I’ve always wanted to play.
“I certainly think it didn’t hurt playing well last year in the game. As I say, the more opportunity you get to show what you can do and your desire to be involved in these games, can’t hurt.”
MOST CITY-COUNTRY APPEARANCES
Andrew Ettingshausen 8 (City)
Steve Menzies 8 (City)
Paul Sironen 8 (City)
Braith Anasta 7 (City)
Laurie Daley 7 (City)
Brad Fittler 7 (City)
Glenn Lazarus 7 (City)
Ryan Hoffman 6 (City)
Ben Creagh 6 (Country)
Robbie Farah 6 (City)
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.