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'It's funny how these things happen': Liddle prepares for deserved NRL ton

It may surprise some that Jacob Liddle is only now reaching the 100-game mark almost eight years after making his NRL debut.

Many will remember his try-scoring introduction for the Wests Tigers at Stadium Australia a few months shy of his 20th birthday back in Round 18, 2016.

A product of the Wyong Roos and boasting a junior resumé including an Australian Schoolboys nod and an under-20s Player's Player gong, Liddle helped form part of a youthful nucleus that was set to usher in a new era at the Wests Tigers.

Fast forward three quarters of a decade and several injury setbacks and Liddle, clad in red and white, will this Sunday face the Wests Tigers in the 100th outing of his topflight career.

"It's funny how these things happen," Liddle said.

"I spent 73 of my career games there, so to play my 100th against them is a good moment. There's a bit of irony about it. 

"I debuted there, played under-20s there, spent three quarters of my NRL career there. I loved my time there but I'm keen to get the win over them... It's a special moment this week."

The 27-year-old says that looking back at the obstacles which he has been forced to overcome makes reaching this weekend's milestone all the much sweeter.

"My rookie year, I had two shoulder dislocations and then, a couple of years later, had a major knee injury," he said.

Full Circle: Liddle primed for game 100 against former club

"To get through those makes it even sweeter. Just being able to put that behind me and have a big year last year. Playing under Flano has been great and I've been learning heaps."

There have been no shortage of helpers throughout Liddle's ascent to the top grade and beyond with a travelling party making the trip to Campbelltown on Sunday to be on hand for celebrations.

"I owe a lot to all of my family members, especially my parents and brothers. My wife's been there ever since I started playing NRL, so I owe a lot to her too," he said.

"I owe a lot to the Wyong Roos. I started playing there when I was six or seven and all through my juniors. A lot of coaches, I owe a lot to. There's been a lot of learning over the years."

Despite hitting the triple digits this weekend, Liddle maintains that the focus is solely on coming away with a crucial pair of competition points.

"It's the same as every week. We want to put our best foot forward and have a winning mentality," he said.

"It's just been a lot of focus on what we need to do this week. We decide whether we win the game, so just working on that mindset to do the job and get the win."

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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