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Riewoldt goes ahead of Colling

Nick Riewoldt of the Saints in action during the St Kilda Saints training session at the Basin Reserve, Wellington on April 24, 2014. (Photo: Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Nick Riewoldt will play his 266th game against the Hawks on Saturday.
He’s been a significant part of driving who we are as a footy club and what we want to stand for.
Alan Richardson
ST KILDA’S inspirational captain Nick Riewoldt will move up to outright seventh on the club’s all-time games played list when the Saints take on Hawthorn this weekend.

The 31-year-old currently sits equal seventh with Gary Colling on 265 games and will move clear when he runs out on to the MCG for his 266th game against the Hawks.

It’s just another milestone for the superstar forward, who in round four became the all-time leading goal-kicker for Etihad Stadium when he booted his 358th career goal.

Currently sitting in equal-first place on the Coleman medal with Jay Schulz and Tom Hawkins and leading St Kilda to three victories this year, the plaudits for Riewoldt’s form have spread far and wide this year.

Brisbane coach Justin Lesppitsch was in awe of the champion, who jokingly reminded everyone of his efforts to play on Riewoldt during his career.

“I actually played Nick when he first started, so I can’t come out and do the job again, sorry mate, I’m not too fit at the moment,” Leppitsch said last week in Wellington.

“Nick’s form has been unbelievable for an old man, running around and being as athletic as he is, it’s very impressive for a guy his age.”

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson was also glowing in praise for his captain earlier this year after Riewoldt lead the team to victory against the Bombers in round four.

“Nick’s a really proud leader,” Richardson said.

“He’s been a significant part of driving who we are as a footy club and what we want to stand for, particularly with respect to how we play.”

In a rich vein of form and thriving as captain of the club, Riewoldt looks set to continue his trajectory up the all-time games list as he approaches hisformer teammate Stephen Milne, who finished with 275 games.

Beyond Milne lies current teammate and St Kilda great Lenny Hayes on 282 games.

Riewoldt still has at least another year beyond this campaign to add to his tally, having signed on last December until the end of the 2015 season.

St Kilda all-time games played list*

383 – Robert Harvey
323 – Nathan Burke
321 – Stewart Loewe
300 – Barry Breen
282 – Lenny Hayes
275 – Stephen Milne
266 - Nick Riewoldt
265 – Gary Colling

*As of round seven.