James Slipper: Breaking the Australian Super Rugby cap record and the ‘false starts’ along the way

Wed, Apr 3, 2024, 3:54 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
James Slipper spoke to media ahead of our fixture against the NSW Waratahs.

James Slipper will become the most capped Australian in Super Rugby history when he takes the field on Saturday against the NSW Waratahs.

Slipper was named in the starting side for the clash at GIO Stadium, going past Stephen Moore's record with his 178th appearance.

Catch every game of Super Rugby Pacific LIVE on Stan Sport. Start your Free Sport Trial Now

The 34-year-old was unaware of the record until the start of the year and was originally planning to celebrate the milestone against old side Queensland Reds before a statistical error pushed the milestone back a week.

It was discovered that Moore, recorded as having played 176 caps for the Reds and Brumbies, had one cap missed in 2017, with the name 'Sam Moore' recorded for their round 16 clash against the ACT side.

“There’s been a few false starts but the boys are pretty happy about it because they get to give me another tough week," he told reporters.

“…I didn’t know too much about the record until I was doing promotional work at the start of the year when someone told me I had to play five or six games. I don’t see any players playing to try and break records or milestones, it comes with a bit of luck and I’ve had a lucky career and worked hard but I’ve been on the better side of injuries.

“I’m humbled that I’ve made it.”

The Gold Coast prop spent the majority of those 177 caps in the maroon before he was axed due to a cocaine charge in 2018.

He was then picked up by the Brumbies, calling Canberra home in his sixth season with the club.

"I think about (the move) all the time," he said. 

“This is my sixth year down here. I never thought I'd be in Canberra for six years but I've fallen in love with the place and the club itself.

"I'm really enjoying my rugby and for how long I'm here, who knows, but I'll enjoy it right to the end.”

When a milestone like this is hit, it's only natural to look ahead to what could be next.

He sits fifth on the all-time list, with Wyatt Crockett's 202 potentially in reach if he plays every game and finals until his contract ends in 2025.

"We'll see what happens," Slipper added on the chance to reach the double century. "I'm just looking at this year only at the moment.

"(The body) has its moments and days. After games like last week, it’s pulled up pretty sore but the games are the easy bit, it’s the training that are hard.

“I’ve said it so often over the past few years and I’m sure you’ll quote it again.”

BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Billy Pollard, Sefo Kautai, Darcy Swain, Nick Frost, Rob Valetini, Tom Hooper, Charlie Cale, Ryan Lonergan (c), Noah Lolesio, Corey Toole, Tamati Tua, Hudson Creighton, Ollie Sapsford, Tom Wright

RESERVES: Connal McInerney, Fred Kaihea, Rhys Van Nek, Cadeyrn Neville, Luke Reimer, Harrison Goddard, Jack Debreczeni, Declan Meredith

Share
LIVE from 7:35 pm: Reds hungry to bounce back against Highlanders
Force heartbreak as Drua triumph to end Super W finals campaign
Crunch Kiwi encounters loom for red-hot ACT Brumbies
Australia Sevens draw brutal pools for Singapore