After representing Australia at the World Nines in Fiji in 1997, Raiders 300 game legend Jason Croker is set to dust off the boots and make a comeback to the nine-a-side format for the Raiders at the 2016 Auckland Nines next month.
Watch the video above to see Croker during his fitness testing
The Raiders are working with the NRL to secure final approval for Jason Croker to play for the Green Machine in Auckland, after the successful return of Ken Nagas to the tournament in 2015.
Jason Croker, will have the unique opportunity to potentially play alongside his nephew Lachlan Croker, who made his debut for the Raiders at least year’s tournament.
Current Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker has captained the Raiders at the past two tournaments, meaning there is the potential for three Croker’s to take the field at the same time during this year’s tournament.
Jason Croker said he’s excited about the opportunity to once again represent the Raiders and have the opportunity to play alongside and against some of the games current superstars.
“I’m excited about playing for the Raiders again but even more excited about the chance to run around with some of the young stars coming through the ranks at the club at the moment,” Croker said. “There’s also the chance to play alongside my nephew Lachlan which would be something pretty special if it happens.”
Jason Croker said his nine-a-side experience in 1997 playing for Australia is not his only time playing the short form game and has positive memories from the Raiders days at the World Sevens.
“It’s a long time ago, but I certainly remember how fast and how much fun it was playing in those tournaments,” Croker said. “To be honest, I’m more worried about the little fast blokes who we’ll be playing at the nines than tackling any of the bigger guys.”
After retiring from elite level competition at the end of 2009 after 19 years in the top grade, Jason Croker has continued his involvement with rugby league in the Canberra region as a player and member of the coaching staff with the Gungahlin Bulls.
He also holds the record for the most appearances for the Raiders at NRL level with 318 and holds the record for the most Raiders career tries with 120 and joint most tries in a season (22 in 1994).
Jason Croker – Career
NRL - Canberra Raiders (1991-2006)
Matches: 318 (Club Record)
Tries: 120 (Club Record)
Premierships: 1 (1994)
English Super League - Les Catalans Dragons (2007-2009)
Australia: 5 matches (including 2000 World Cup)
New South Wales: 5 matches
Country Origin: 3 matches