Powerful Highlanders hooker Liam Coltman will become Investec Super Rugby’s newest centurion, as he takes the field against the Waratahs in Invercargill this evening.
The 29-year-old will become the 63rd player to achieve 100 Investec Super Rugby caps, and the 10th wearing the iconic blue and gold jersey.
Following in the spring marks of current Highlanders teammates Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, and most recently Luke Whitelock, Coltman said it was a thrill to reach this career milestone and join an elite group of players.
“I’ve had the privilege to play alongside some legends in the game, so it’s an honour to now join them in the centurion club.
“After seven seasons with the team there are lots of memorable moments, but one of the biggest highlights was collecting the Super Rugby title at Westpac Stadium in 2015. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Since his Investec Super Rugby debut for the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in 2013, Coltman has been a strong performer and his work-ethic has shone through with impressive performances on a weekly basis.
Highlanders Head Coach Aaron Mauger said Coltman was a joy to coach and his hard work was second to none.
"Liam is a great example of a guy who does not require too much pushing. He is internally driven and our influence around that is pretty minimal.
"He sets high standards for himself and is a true professional. He was recently named our player of the year and that was thoroughly deserved."
Coltman's consistency and form at Investec Super Rugby level saw him earn his first All Blacks Test cap in 2016, before re-joining the side squad last year against France, South Africa and Japan.
The four-Test All Black’s milestone achievement will be acknowledged in front of his family and home fans, when New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Board Member Peter Kean presents him with a traditional pounamu mere - given to players who play 100 Investec Super Rugby games for New Zealand sides – at the conclusion of the match.
NZR Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said: "I’d like to congratulate Liam on reaching this exciting milestone as he joins a very special club of New Zealand players to reach 100 Super Rugby games.
“Reaching this milestone is no small achievement and is testament to Liam’s commitment and hard work. He consistently gives 100 percent to every minute of the game, and Liam and his family should be immensely proud of all that he has achieved in the Highlanders jersey.”