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King celebrates 'amazing' milestone

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Sportal.co.nz     21 Mar 2013     Getty Images

King, 31, has been on the first-class scene since 2002 and has won the Ranfurly Shield with Canterbury, Southland and Taranaki.

"That's pretty incredible," he said.

But his focus is on trying to help the Highlanders achieve their first victory of the season in his milestone match.

"It's definitely a proud moment but it won't mean as much if we can't win," he said.

"I played my first Super game for the Crusaders against the Hurricanes back in 2003. Dan Carter was making his debut in the same game."

King played 16 games for the Crusaders and was part of the team which was the beaten finalist in 2003 and 2004.

"I had three All Blacks in front of me in Greg Somerville, Dave Hewett and Greg Feek and Feeky took me under his wing and was a bit of a mentor.

"There were props like Richard Loe and Olo Brown still around when I started and they were hard men.

"Then I was lucky enough to get the call to the Highlanders to come down here and I've been here nine years now.

"A lot of the guys have helped me - the likes of Jamie Mackintosh, Jason Macdonald and Jason Rutledge and it's great to have Jason back in the squad."

King said the return game against the Chiefs (the Highlanders lost 27-41 in Dunedin) shaped as a key match.

"We certainly haven't had a great start to the season with three losses but we're not far off and we just need to show more patience.

"Maybe the Chiefs might still have a bit of jet lag and, if we do our job, we might be able to get on top of them.

"We've been working on the breakdown and our set pieces so hopefully we'll get them right. There were promising signs against the Hurricanes (lost 19-23) but it was frustrating in the end.

"We had the game there for the taking in the last 10 minutes but there were a couple of silly penalties that hurt us.

"We're making plenty of line-breaks (nine to five against the Hurricanes) but we're not converting them into points. We've had about 30 line-breaks this year but we haven't finished off often enough."

King rates Tony Woodcock and Carl Hayman as the best props he has opposed in his long career and Springbok Tendai (the Beast) Mtawarira as the strongest.

King wants to finish his career on a high, whenever that may be.

"I'm only 31 and hopefully I can get another contract and just enjoy my rugby. I would have loved to have been an All Black but it hasn't happened so I just have to keep on doing the best I can for the Highlanders."