Had Lachie McCall not been stood down from one game back in 2013, his milestone match for the Eastern Northern Barbarians would have been at home.
Instead, when McCall becomes the first player to reach 100 games for the club tomorrow, it will be in Te Anau.
“I would’ve loved for it to have been at home but I missed that one game so it’s not.
“It’s really good to reach 100 games for the club. I’m proud of the club,” McCall said.
He received a blazer in 2015 when he was the first to play 50 games.
“I’m hopeful for another blazer but I don’t think it’ll happen.”
The flanker had a career scattered with highlights but it was hard to look past winning the premier division Galbraith Shield in 2016.
“That was pretty big for us, it was great. The attitude towards us has changed in the last few years since we won.
“Being able to play premier rugby is what I’ve enjoyed most,” he said.
McCall remembers his first game was played on a Thursday night, when the Barbarians thumped Midlands.
“It was pretty exciting for us.”
He battled through a few broken ribs throughout the years, but always continued playing.
McCall, who is associated with the Waikaka Rugby Club, took over the captaincy in 2016 and rose to the challenge.
“I love it. It was pretty daunting in the earlier days, when there were the older, experienced guys but it’s been great.”
He was proud of the progression of the side even when it had been low on numbers.
“We had 16 players last year and lost semifinals by one point. We’ve got good numbers this year,” McCall said.
He paid tribute to early coaches Bretton Taylor and Sean Hurley, who put in a lot of effort to get the team where it was.
Coach Nathan Howden said McCall was a big asset to the Barbarians and was proud to see him reach 100 games.
“He’s a very respected person in the team, a no-nonsense type of man. He puts in 100% week in, week out.
“It’s unbelievably outstanding for a guy to reach 100 games for us,” Howden said.