Stanley century 10 seasons in the making
On Monday night Bulldogs veteran Chase Stanley will run out on to Belmore Sportsground for his 100th NRL game, a little over nine years since making his debut.
In a career which could have easily been ruined by injury on more than one occasion – something that happened to his younger brother Kyle last year – Stanley told NRL.com there hasn't been a body part he hasn't damaged in his career.
"I think my whole body has been reconstructed so I'm pretty much RoboCop," Stanley laughed.
"I've had troubles with my shoulders a couple of times, a couple times with my knees, shoulders, elbows. It's been a bit of everything.
"Then obviously I've had the typical hamstring and quadriceps ones and the other basic things like that."
Coincidentally Stanley spent the first five years of his rugby league career playing in the Canterbury area for St George Dragons alongside Josh Reynolds – Belmore Sportsground the scene for many of their junior grand final successes.
"I'm grateful to have the opportunity to do what we do and it's going to be extra special playing here at Belmore. It's somewhere I grew up and I know how much it means to the fans so it's going to be a ripper," Stanley said of the Round 5 clash with the Raiders.
"I played a couple of grand finals here with Grub [Reynolds] when we were younger and I've known him since we were five. We grew up together; we played my first five years together when I first started playing footy."
Reynolds recalled their time spent at Belmore and was buoyed by Stanley's achievements, considering the Bulldogs five-eighth managed the same feat just last round in their 30-point win over the Rabbitohs.
"For a bloke to have that many injuries and still be around, to just hang in there and hang in there, and have so much positivity at the same time it's pretty special. I take my hat off to Chase," Reynolds told NRL.com.
"He's a great bloke too, I get on really well with his kids and his wife and our families know each other. It's going to be a pretty special occasion for him on Monday and the boys and I definitely want to make it a special one to remember for him.
"It's pretty crazy isn't it? [having the same milestone within a fortnight]. I remember back then that Chase was a big bully and he would score 10 tries a game. I was only a little halfback doing hardly anything because Chase was the gun."
It has taken two stints at the Dragons and years spent at the Storm and Bulldogs for Stanley to finally reach triple figures.
To put the 26-year-old's persistence into perspective, Sam Perrett had a 22-game jump on his centre partner prior to Stanley's 2007 debut and will rack up his 250th NRL game later on in 2016.
"[Chase's] shown enormous endurance and strength to get through the injuries he's had. Unfortunately you see players who suffer bad injuries they can't come back from, like his brother, and he's had plenty that he's come back from," Perrett told NRL.com.
"All those lessons and experiences will definitely benefit him for life in general after footy as well."