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Prior joins historic milestone club

Force scrum-half Ian Prior will etch his name into the history books as he plays his 100th Western Force game against the Hurricanes this Saturday.

Prior joins Force legends Matt Hodgson (140 caps) and Pekahou Cowan (137 caps) as the third player to play 100 games for the club.

The experienced playmaker joined the Force in 2014 where he debuted against the Brumbies in March. Prior celebrated his 100th Super Rugby Appearance against the Crusaders in Christchurch last year.

Prior during the World Series Rugby match between the Western Force and the Fiji Warriors at nib Stadium on May 4, 2018 in Perth, Australia.

With four seasons as captain for the club between 2018 and 2021, Prior has been an outstanding leader, who has represented the Force in World Series Rugby (7 caps), Global Rapid Rugby (8 caps), and Super Rugby (84 caps).

Prior is looking forward to celebrating the milestone in front of his family and the Sea of Blue on Saturday night.

“I used to dream as a kid that I would play a couple of games of Super Rugby, so to reach 100 games was very special. But, to reach a century for the Force is even more special,” Prior said.

“This is a place I really care about; it is a real privilege and an honour to join two guys that are such legends of the club.

“I’ve seen it all at the club, some good times, some challenging times, and everything in between so it’s a really proud moment for myself, my family and all my teammates that I have played with along the journey.

“It will be truly special to share this moment in front of the Sea of Blue and in front of my family, which was something I never really thought would be possible. It still feels a little surreal now.”

Ian Prior of the Force attempts a penalty kick during the round 10 Super Rugby match between the Force and the Lions at nib Stadium on April 29, 2017 in Perth, Australia.

General manager of rugby and record games holder Hodgson heaped praise on the loyal playmaker.

“Ian has been a player that embodies the Force spirit and values each and every day,” Hodgson explained.

“He stood up and helped guide the Force through a pivotal moment in our history from World Series Rugby to Global Rapid Rugby, and finally back into Super Rugby competition. “His impact on and off the field has been invaluable, and we’re excited to celebrate this moment with him.”

Ian Prior, captain of Western Force (C) during the round 10 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Moana Pasifika and the Western Force at Mt Smart Stadium on May 24, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand.