Jason Taylor has paid tribute to Luke Douglas, predicting the ironman prop's record streak of games could stand the test of time.
Douglas will play his 195th straight NRL match against former club Cronulla on Monday, eclipsing the mark set by former NSW halfback Taylor.
The Gold Coast forward made his first-grade debut in 2006 and has not missed a game since, a remarkable achievement for a man playing in the most physically demanding position in the game.
Taylor has accepted an invitation from Sharks chief executive Steve Noyce to present the game ball to Douglas after the Remondis Stadium encounter.
''It's amazing,'' Taylor said. ''When you hold a record like that, someone is going to break it eventually, but I didn't think it would be a guy playing in the front row every week. It's not just about the knocks you take - you can get hurt just sprinting at training. And now the game is faster and more physical than it's ever been, so it's just so impressive.''
Douglas's only blemish is when he pulled out of the Country Origin squad in 2007. However, he played for the Sharks the next day to keep his club streak going.
''He's obviously a very durable guy,'' Taylor said. ''I know I worked very hard on my professionalism in doing the right thing with your body - stretching, eating well, hydrating, getting physio and rehab exercises. He must be so diligent with that stuff to be able to play that many in a row. It's not like he wouldn't have got a lot of injuries during that period, but you work hard on them to get to a point where you can get back out there next weekend.
''Sometimes you get yourself through a game you probably shouldn't have played in, but that's what you feel you need to do.''
Asked if he thought Douglas' record will ever be broken, Taylor said: ''You would think so. We always think no one will ever do it but the game will go for another 100 years and they may be talking about someone else having an eight- to nine-year run.''
Douglas has played 146 of his matches for Cronulla and said coming ''home'' would make the occasion even more memorable. ''It's pretty special, it's back where I made my debut in Cronulla,'' he said. ''It's something I'll look back on, definitely.''
Asked the secret of his longevity, the 27-year-old said: ''People always ask me that question and I can't really put my finger on it. It's a combination - the genes off my parents and playing a lot of sports growing up. I am meticulous; if I've got an injury I try to get on top of it. I try to tick all the boxes to make sure I'm 100 per cent prepared come game day.''
The Sharks come into the game with stars in doubt. Halfback Jeff Robson and five-eighth Todd Carney are certain scratchings, while Chris Heighington (calf), Bryce Gibbs (hand), Wade Graham (infected boil) and Beau Ryan (neck) are all under injury clouds.
The story Jason Taylor tips his hat to ironman Luke Douglas on playing record 195 straight games first appeared on Brisbane Times.