WATCH LIVE: Ipswich Jets play Northern Pride

THEY call him the silent assassin.

As Jets' prop Nat Neale prepares for his 100th first grade game for the club on Saturday, it's fair to say he has been killing it on the field.

Neale has embarked on a journey from rugby union rising star in the land of the long white cloud, to NRL player and Ipswich Jet.

The Auckland-born 28-year-old, who lines up against Northern Pride at North Ipswich Reserve, was a rugby union number eight in New Zealand through his school days before making a switch to league on a whim.

"I left high school and played a few more years of union with the Ponsonby Ponies," Neale said.

"My mate said 'let's try league' so we went down for a trial with the Warriors 20s and we got a start with them.

"I played a few games for them and then onto the Auckland Vulcans, which were the feeder team for the Warriors.

"I played a couple of seasons there and then I thought it was time to have a proper crack, so I took up a contract here at Ipswich."

Co-coach Shane Walker said Neale had been a powerhouse since arriving at the club for the 2011 season.

"It has been a bit of a journey for him but we are glad he found a home here," Walker said.

"He is in terrific form and week by week he is one of our standout players.

"Nat is one of those silent assassins who gets the job done without a lot of fuss and fanfare.

"A previous CEO Brad Wolens said he'd seen some tape of him and that 'he is white front-rower from New Zealand so he'd have to be tough playing against those big Kiwis over there'.

"He was spot on. From his first training session you could see he had a real competitiveness and will to win about him and he hasn't let us down since."

Neale had two seasons with the Rabbitohs in 2014 and 2015 before returning to the Jets.

He only played one NRL game but learned plenty at a club which was chock a block with big, mobile forwards including the three Burgess brothers.

"It was a real good experience and a bit of a learning curve being in that culture. It was awesome," he said.

"I lived with Tom and George Burgess and it was real good fun. It was the land of the giants down there with those fellas'."

Neale and Tyson Lofipo are big boppers themselves and are giving plenty of impetus to the Jets up front.

Neale, a groomsman at Lofipo's wedding, said that bond between them was tight.

"We are like brothers I'd say," Neale said.

"When Tyson takes a run off the kick-off it makes me want to take a run."

Neale won the Allan Langer Medal twice for the Jets before leaving for Souths and is in the kind of form for Ipswich which saw him secure his initial NRL deal.

"It is all about enjoyment for me," he said.

"The Walker boys make it fun so you just want to come along and train and play hard.

"They build you up to be great. They will never say anything bad to bring you down. It is awesome."

A humble and gentle giant off the field, Neale was stoked to be playing his milestone 100th match for the club at home.

"To be in the 100-club . . . it's great," he grinned.

NOTE: Apologies to Tyson Lofipo. An earlier edition of this story called you Falipo. The author owes you a beer. 

Ipswich's elite 100-club: Danny Coburn 258, Tyson Lofipo 155, Brendon Marshall 153, Sam Martin 139, Brendon Lindsay 135. Brian McCarthy 121, Ricky Bird 118, Keiron Lander 115, Luke Walker 114, Dane Phillips 111, Danny McAllister 103, Nemani Valekapa 101, Ian Lacey 100. Stats courtesy of Michael Nunn include the NRL State Championship game in 2015 and apply to the Queensland Cup era.