Steelform Wanganui captain Cole Baldwin is looking forward to being in front of his home supporters where true recognition can be given for the union's 13th centenarian this weekend.

The 34-year-old hooker reached the now-rare milestone of his 100th first-class provincial match in Wanganui's last-gasp defeat to Mid Canterbury in Ashburton on Saturday.

As it was an away game, no doubt Baldwin will receive more ceremonial acknowledgement of his feat at Cooks Gardens for the King Country match, but after two tough weekends on the road with defeats in the final minutes, the skipper most wants his team to re-group in their backyard.

"It will be good to get home and have the home support to carry us," Baldwin said.

Advertisement

"The boys tried really hard for me, but a couple of errors let us down."

Baldwin has now played 95 Heartland Championship games - a national record he shares with the retired Peter Rowe and will surpass on Saturday - as well as a Wanganui record of five Ranfurly Shield appearances, shared with Rowe and the late Budge Lockett, Bill Eriksen and Jack Karatau from the 1950's-60's era.

While this is very impressive, Baldwin was not aware of those statistics until this week, and regarding his motivations, the veteran would rather any other milestones like reaching 100 Heartland games are done with the more important occasion of a Wanganui victory.

"It's not the be all and end all," he said.

"I just want to do well for the team. It's going out there and working hard for each other."

Baldwin has played all his first-class rugby within the Heartland Championship era - coming off the bench as a 23-year-old to replace his Pirates club team mate Brett Turner in the 65-18 win over Thames Valley at Cooks Gardens to begin the inaugural 2006 competition.

"The first 50 happened pretty quickly. The second 50 dragged out a bit longer," Baldwin said.

He played 61 first-class games while a member of Pirates club up to 2011, with his remaining honours coming as a representative of the Border club.

Baldwin was the starting hooker in 63 Heartland games, while coming off the bench 32 times.

After one appearance in 2012 and none in 2013 - the only year Wanganui did not make the Meads or Lochore Cup final - Baldwin had to reassert himself as the province's leading hooker, a spot he has shared with Roman Tutauha in the last two seasons.

He has scored 18 tries for Wanganui, with his best year being 2010 with six.

Baldwin has won five Meads Cup titles (2008-9, 2011, 2015-16) and one Lochore Cup (2014), while coming Meads Cup runnerup three times (2006-7, 2010).

He represented the New Zealand Heartland XV in two stints from 2009-2011 and then 2014-15, playing internal games against NZ Marist and the Australian Barbarians, while also touring Australia and the Cook Islands.

The other Wanganui centenarians are:
Trevor Olney 146 (1973-90), Graeme Coleman 144 (1973-83), Bob Barrell 139 (1963-77), Adrian Bull 134 (1985-99), Peter Rowe 120 (2003-17), Bruce Middleton 119 (1974-84), Andrew Donald 118 (1976-84), Jerome Nahona 111 (1989-2000), Guy Lennox 110 (1990-98) Kerry Whale 100 (1985-98), Brent Dallison 100 (1975-83) and Jason Hamlin 100 (1992-2001).

*All statistics compiled by JB Phillips.