Petero Civoniceva says getting to play his 300th NRL game in a Brisbane jumper is something very special.
The Fijian-born player will reach the rare 300-game milestone achieved by only 16 others against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.
"There were periods there when I thought it would happen in a Penrith jersey," admitted the 45-test warrior who headed south to the Panthers at the end of 2007 when squeezed out of the Broncos by salary cap pressures.
However, he jumped at the chance to return this season and end his career where it all started in 1998.
"Once we knew we were coming home, it was definitely something I thought about, hopefully getting that opportunity to reach my 300th game in a Broncos jersey," he said.
Civoniceva, 36, played his 200th game for Brisbane, also against South Sydney, in 2007. He was trying to focus on performing well for his team in tomorrow night's game but said the milestone would mean a lot when he reflected on his career.
"I've got the 200-game jersey hanging up in the house and that was against South Sydney in 2007," he said. "It's definitely something to be proud of."
Civoniceva is typically humble about a career that includes 225 games for Brisbane and 74 for Penrith, 45 tests and 32 State of Origins, both records for a forward.
Making his debut for Brisbane against North Sydney at ANZ Stadium in 1998 was still a high point. "After three years in lower grades, I finally achieved it and to run out at the old ANZ Stadium alongside guys like Alfie [Allan Langer] who were my heroes growing up ... It was a great debut and a game I'll never forget."
Brisbane chief executive Paul White said the club wanted Civoniceva to stay around after he hung up his boots. "The esteem he's held in in the Queensland community makes him a natural choice to do more work for our club and we want that to continue."