<hash>Crockett</hash> set to join 100 club

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012    Getty Images

Crockett has held a permanent place in the Crusaders since his debut against the Highlanders in Christchurch in the first game of the 2006 season. Although he has faced opposition from fellow All Blacks props, Greg Somerville, Campbell Johnstone and the Franks brothers, Ben and Owen, Crockett has played 99 of a possible 102 games for the Crusaders over seven seasons.

He is the 10th Crusader to have achieved the century milestone and only the second prop behind Somerville. Coach Todd Blackadder was effusive in his praise of the rangy loosehead specialist prop at the Crusaders training on Monday.

"He's been absolutely incredible. The boys love him – he's been a great team man and one guy they like to have a bit of fun with. He's an ultimate professional who loves the jersey and gives everything to this team on and off the field," Blackadder said.

"It's a great achievement and when I think of all the guys who have played for the Crusaders it really says a lot about him that he is going to join a very special club."

Although Crockett, 29, was given no game time against Ireland in the just ended three-test series, Blackadder believes he still has a lot to give to the All Blacks. "He's just recommitted to New Zealand rugby. He's gone through a lot, but he's worked bloody hard and I think the best is still to come from him.

"I think he's got a good six years left in him and he could be around for as long as he wants to. He's a great competitor who is always trying to improve and there's nothing he wouldn't be prepared to work hard for to learn," Blackadder said.

"If he misses a tackle he's out in the sand pit putting in tackles at practice. He's so tough on himself and epitomises everything that's so good about this jersey."

The Crusaders team will not be named until Thursday, but Blackadder confirmed that Dan Carter's hamstring injury would rule him out, fullback Israel Dagg was a 50-50 proposition, and a decision on No. 8 Kieran Read would be made on Tuesday.