McCullough milestone in Dragons NRL clash

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St George Illawarra hooker Andrew McCullough will join the NRL's 300 club on Thursday night when his Dragons host South Sydney in Wollongong.

The intriguing encounter pits the seventh-ranked Rabbitohs against the hot-and-cold Dragons, and McCullough's accolades could inspire his side to a much-needed win as he becomes the 44th player to appear in 300 NRL games.

A number of injuries in recent times have seen his progress towards the key milestone somewhat hampered, but McCullough said playing any game was an honour.

"In a weird way, setbacks and certain injuries gave me perspective on the drive to come back, different hurdles to overcome," he told reporters.

"At the (beginning of your career) you're just coming in and out of the ground happy to be there, it's a blessing each week to be in the team and you just enjoy it for what it is.

"After a little while you get more professional and realise what it takes to be a first-grader.

"I wasn't searching for numbers or goals, in fact I like training, like going out with the boys and I enjoy a good time ... that helps stay in the game for a bit longer."

McCullough played 260 games with Brisbane between 2008 and 2020 and had an eight-game pit stop in Newcastle before joining the Dragons last year.

Meanwhile, South Sydney coach Jason Demetriou is challenging his charges to switch on, all too aware of what's at stake on Thursday night.

"It's just about accumulating the two points at the moment," he said on Wednesday.

"I know there's an opportunity to win three in a row for the first time this year and show some consistency in our performances.

"I've felt we've been pretty consistent in our last two games and the challenge for us is to go down to Wollongong on a Thursday night."

Demetriou gave skipper Cameron Murray and hooker Damien Cook Monday off to freshen up during a gruelling schedule for the NSW State of Origin pair.

"Three days in eight days is not ideal," the coach said.

"So we gave them that time off. It was more mentally than physically ... they bounced in this morning and are looking forward to playing tomorrow night."

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