By Yibby Campbell

St George Illawarra Dragons captain Ben Creagh will become joint all-time third most-capped first-grade player when he leads his teammates out against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park on Saturday.

The University of Wollongong local junior will notch his 243rd first-grade appearance for his boyhood club in the encounter matching the records of current joint-title holders Jeff Hardy and Matt Cooper.

The Dragons skipper is honoured by the upcoming milestone but remains humble by acknowledging he is more concerned about doing all he can to help his team obtain a further two competition points.

“The Roosters are a quality side who are coming off a tough loss last weekend against the Newcastle Knights,” said Creagh.

“They would have had a tough week at training and I know it’s going to be a big match for us.

“I am proud to have achieved such an accolade and it is something that has crept up on me.

“I never thought I would ever reach such a number for the Dragons and to be on level footing appearance-wise with two great players in Matt and Jeff.”

Club great Jeff Hardy, who collectively played 149 first-grade games for the St George Dragons and likewise 84 games for the Illawarra Steelers, has given nothing but his blessing to Creagh on his upcoming achievement stating that he finds the 29-year-old ‘inspirational’.

“I wish Ben well and would love to see a lot more of the players stay loyal and rack-up heaps of games for the Dragons,” said Hardy.

“There’s not a lot of it these days where people stay at one club for their whole career, so full credit to Ben and I totally admire what he’s doing.

“He’s a great example for others to come through after him and do so as well.

“Ben is a great player and inspirational the way he plays, his passing, he runs really hard, leads by example and is a really good fella, I think he’s doing an admirable job.”