Adam Blair will become the 36th man to play 300 NRL games.
Adam Blair will become the 36th man to play 300 NRL games.

Warrior set to join exclusive club

ADAM Blair will not only join the NRL's 300-club on Friday but he'll also gain entry to an even more elite group if the Warriors beat the Gold Coast.

Tough forward Blair will become the competition's 36th triple centurion, and just the third Kiwi to do so.

Hailing from the back blocks of rural New Zealand, the milestone will be a measure of his drive to succeed and a relentless dedication to fitness.

It also brings to light the quality of a player often maligned for playing too close to the fringe of the rules physically, but who can point to sustained success across his 14 seasons of first grade.

A victory at Robina would be Blair's 180th, giving him a winning success ratio of exactly 60 per cent.

Only nine NRL triple centurions have achieved that or better.

The elite list is topped by Melbourne legends Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk, who are the only players to exceed 70 per cent success.

Blair was part of the same Storm machine for six seasons before an ill-fated move to Wests Tigers in 2012.

Adam Blair becomes the third New Zealand player to play 300 games in the NRL.
Adam Blair becomes the third New Zealand player to play 300 games in the NRL.

Heavily criticised for his form throughout three years in Sydney, the 33-year- old believes those difficult times improved him as a person and player.

Proof came with three strong seasons in Brisbane followed by last year's bright campaign with his fourth club - the Warriors.

"When I left Melbourne, something kind of kicked in for me in trying to find other things away from football that kept me motivated and driven to be successful," he said.

"I didn't really expect the media stuff down there (Sydney) but found out pretty quickly what it was like and really that most probably grew me into the person I am today.

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"It's half the reason I'm still playing the game because I did all the right things off the field to make sure I played football every week."

Growing up in tiny Panguru, near the tip of the North Island, Blair said he could only dream of a career that has featured eight trips to the NRL finals and captaining the Kiwis, which he's done four times in a 48-Test resume.

A struggle for form has marked this season with the underperforming Warriors but Blair backs himself, and his teammates, to find their feet.

"You think about what got you out of those positions before. Because at some point, everything does change if you work hard enough and want it enough."

News Corp Australia

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