Blues lock Josh Bekhuis joins illustrious company when he celebrates his 100th appearance in Super Rugby against the Reds in Brisbane.
The 29 year old becomes the 46th New Zealand player to chalk up 100 Super Rugby caps and the 11th player who has played for the Blues to reach the milestone.
He becomes just the fifth Kiwi player to reach the honour of 100 caps in Super Rugby and 100 caps in the ITM Cup provincial competition.
Josh joins a select group that includes Caleb Ralph, Justin Collins and Jimmy Cowan (all played for the Blues) and Canterbury’s Chris King to reach this achievement.
The big Southlander lock joined the Blues last year after playing 82 times for the Highlanders from 2009 to 2014, and is nearing his Blazer game for the Blues with his 18th appearance at the weekend.
Of course lineouts are a major focus and he enjoys the analytical preparation for lineout contests, given the role to call lineouts at the Blues as well as coming up with some new moves.
He has been surprised at how well his body has held together over the years and credits his liaison with former All Blacks lock Brad Thorn for much of that.
“Brad played until he was 40 and there is no-one better to learn from on how to look after your body. He was the most flexible lock I’ve seen – ever. He’d be stretching his hamstrings and his foot would nearly be touching his face and I can’t even get it up to 90 degrees so that’s been a big work-on for me. Just the way he looked after himself and his body,” Josh told All Blacks.com.
Often Thorn would get Bekhuis to stay on and work longer and that is something he has tried to continue since then. It was important to do the stretching to look after the body, not only during the season but for life after rugby.
While his duties as the king of lineouts is a logical task, his other role is perhaps less likely to guess. Josh has the duty as the team music man, carrying his trusty blaster on all occasions and making the call of tunes for the team to take in. Not bad for a lanky lad from Invercargill.
He has also been working to complete a degree in commerce through Massey University as he looks to life after rugby.
He is excited to reach his 100 game milestone in Blues colours, and has relished the change of lifestyle for him and wife Micaela in Auckland.