Western Force prop Pek Cowan will play his 100th Asteron Life Super Rugby game for the Perth franchise, when he runs out against the Chiefs on Friday night.
The veteran front-rower becomes the second most capped Force player in history behind skipper Matt Hodgson (113). Cowan began his career with the Force in 2005 as a 19-year-old and has transformed himself into one of the club’s most consistent players, thanks to his high involvement, technical ability at scrum time and leadership within the group.
“It’s been a pretty long journey,” said Cowan. “Obviously I’ve been here for 10 years and in my time I’ve seen a lot of ups and a lot of downs but in terms of my 100th game it’s really exciting.”
“I can remember my debut for the club really clearly, it was at Subiaco and I came off the bench against the Waratahs. We didn’t go so well but from that day I vowed that I wanted play many more games for the Force and I’m so thankful I’ve had that opportunity to do that.
“When I came out as an 18 or 19 year old, I signed a one-year contract purely because I didn’t know if it was going to be the right move for me. I quickly fell in love with Perth and the club.”
Last week the Force were unable to overcome the Stormers in an 80-minute arm wrestle, which ended in a 13-6 loss at home. They now head to Hamilton to take on the Chiefs, who currently sit fourth on the overall Super Rugby conference ladder.
Cowan isn’t letting the occasion get the better of his preparation, but believes the milestone will only help to lift the side as they look to break an eight match losing streak.
“It’s hard to put a finger on one particular highlight of my career. I think some of the most memorable games are the ones where the likes of Tai McIsaac, Nathan Sharpe, Cameron Shepherd and Richard Brown and Nick Cummins reached 50 games and obviously when Hodgo earned his 100th for the club I was honoured to be a part of it.”
“I’m looking forward to running out alongside all the boys for my 100th and getting to experience it again. In my 50th match we had a really good win over the Reds – put nearly 50 points on them – so hopefully we can get a win on Friday,” Cowan said.
In a boost for the home side, skipper Matt Hodgson will return for the Force outfit, after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Tune in to FOXSPORTS 2 & 2HD to watch the game from 5:35pm AEST on Friday 24 April as the Western Force play the Chiefs on the eve of Anzac Day.