Waerea-Hargreaves the chief aggressor in NRL’s 300-club

Scott Bailey |

One of the NRL’s hard men Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is set to reach the 300-game landmark.
One of the NRL’s hard men Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is set to reach the 300-game landmark.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is ready to be the chief aggressor in another of the NRL’s top clubs.

Only this time, it’s the NRL’s elusive 300-game club – and it’s a badge the Sydney Roosters hardman will wear with pride.

Waerea-Hargreaves will on Friday night become the 50th man, sixth prop and most aggressive player to chalk up 300 NRL games.

Given his toughness and the way he throws his body into action, it’s a credit to the old-school prop that he is set to reach the milestone.

A glance at the NRL’s other 300-club members shows that none have reached the milestone with the reputation of Waerea-Hargreaves as one of the NRL’s true hard men.

Waerea-Hargreaves
No wonder the formidable Waerea-Hargreaves can boast: “No-one ever gives me grief.” (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS)

“People have asked me for 10 years, how and why I do things,” Waerea-Hargreaves said ahead of the clash with South Sydney. 

“It’s something that I’ve tried to harness. I’ve tried to navigate my whole career. It’s probably why I’m still here. 

“Because there’s that fine line. I push it too far sometimes and I’m constantly trying to find the balance. 

“But that’s just the role that I’ve played for a long time and I love what I do. 

“I keep it simple, I stay in my lane and I go hard. And when I feel the pinch, I try and go even harder.”

Waerea-Hargreaves’ aggression is well known.

His intimidation and impact has often been praised by coach Trent Robinson as what the club needs, but even the Roosters mentor has been forced to tell the prop to haul it in at times.

Across his 15 seasons in the NRL, Waerea-Hagreaves has attracted 34 charges from the match review committee and been banned for 23 matches.

The vast majority of those indiscretions have fallen into the grade-one category, with Waerea-Hargreaves well aware he at times pushes the envelope too far. 

But at the same time, the badge of being the 300-club’s most aggressive player is one the prop will wear with honour.

“There’s so much that’s made me who I am,” he said. 

“The fine line that I’ve crossed sometimes, or a lot of times, in my career. I’ve learned the hard way. 

“You talk about playing at 10 in aggression, not taking it too far. Trying to play a 9.7 or 9.8 game. 

“Sometimes you’re going to step across that line. You try not to, but it’s the nature of the beast. I love what I do.” 

The great irony about Waerea-Hargreaves is that he is one of the softest-spoken forwards in the NRL.

Those who know him well describe him as a gentle giant off the field, someone who is more generous than most with his time.

But as Waerea-Hargreaves points out, his reputation as pantomime villain for fans of the other 16 clubs means he rarely cops any abuse – in public, anyway.

“Thankfully I’m that guy that everyone sees on the field, so they leave me alone,” Waerea-Hargreaves quipped.

“I stay in my lane. I stick with my family. No-one ever gives me grief. 

“I love it, I’m passionate, I love what I do, and hopefully people can see that as well.

“I’m really proud.”

AAP