Dependable Newcastle Knights forward Chris Houston is poised to celebrate his 150th Club match when the team take on the New Zealand Warriors this Sunday at Mt Smart Stadium.
After starting his NRL career with the St George Illawarra Dragons in Round 3 of the 2007 season, the Narooma Devils junior joined the Newcastle Knights in 2008.
The versatile front man, who is also a qualified teacher, has established himself as a leader and highly regarded teammate.
Known for his workhorse mentality, in 2012 Houston achieved the most average tackles per game with 41, a total of 992 in the season.
While the 30-year-old doesn’t expect much fanfare for his milestone, the special achievement brings him great pride.
“I haven’t really thought about it too much,” Houston admitted.
“I suppose I’m pretty proud to play 150 at this Club.
“Even though I’m not a one-club player, I’ve been here long enough and it is like my home.
“If we get the win, it will be great, but I’m not too worried about personal achievements."
The Knights are desperate to back up their Round 1 win over the Warriors when they hit the road to play the side in Auckland on Sunday.
“I just want us to get our season back on track,” he added.
The seasoned veteran considers an Auckland match against the dominating side the as one of the most challenging fixtures in the draw.
“Canberra in the middle of winter is just as tough and sometimes Townsville can be a tough trip," Houston said.
“The Warriors, they are a quality side.
“They have some powerful guys and we’re going to have to play a lot better in that second half if we’re going to compete against that."
Yet he maintained the Knights are undaunted by the additional travel or tough task of challenging their opposition on home turf in front of their notoriously vocal and passionate fans.
"We just have to get our preparation right with our travel,” he said.
“We are going a day early and are doing a session over there to acclimatise a little bit, but we’re thinking it’s going to be similar conditions to here.
"It’s in the calendar every year, I think we’ve played over there for the last few years.
"You know what you have to deal with. You have to sort your flight out and get your hydration right.
"It’s just part of the competition and think most of us know what to expect when we go over there.
“Hopefully we come away with the win."
The Knights travel to New Zealand on Friday and are holding an OPEN TRAINING SESSION on Saturday afternoon.