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Knights to bid farewell to Buderus

It's fitting the annual old boy's day that brings the curtain down on Newcastle's season will see one of the NRL's modern-day greats bring a close to his glittering career.

Although Danny Buderus will get the chance to play again for his beloved Knights in the finals should they beat lowly Parramatta on Sunday, it'll be the last chance the former NSW hooker plays in front of his home supporters - 16 years after making his debut in a 44-0 win over the South Queensland Crushers.

The 35-year-old and Timana Tahu are the last two players still at the club who featured in the Knights' 2001 grand final victory over the Eels and the former NSW skipper's farewell is sure to be an emotional occasion at Hunter Stadium.

Buderus is widely regarded as one of the game's genuine good guys but that trait never masked a steely will to win that saw him play 21 times for NSW - helping the Blues to three straight series victories between 2002 and 2005 - two of them as skipper.

Willie Mason, who played most of his Origin career alongside Buderus said it will be an honour to be in the same side on Sunday and warned the Eels to expect a Knights side desperate to send the hooker out on a winning note.

"It's old boy's day, it's Danny Buderus' last game, we have to win to get into the finals, there is a lot to play for," Mason said.

"If that can't get you motivated then nothing will."

"It will be a real privilege to play and something I will still talk about in 10 years' time.

"Danny is such a warrior and he is respected not just at the Knights but at other clubs and around the world."

One of Buderus' fiercest on-field rivals Cameron Smith paid tribute to the man he succeeded as Australia hooker.

"In the first 10 years of my career he was the guy I looked up to as a dummy-half," Smith said.

"I spent a lot of time watching vision of to improve my game and take my game up to a new level. In a way I have to thank him for helping me have the success I've had.

"He is a wonderful competitor who's been an asset to our game and wonderful bloke off the field as well.

"You speak to anyone in the game and no-one has a bad word to say about 'Bedsy'.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy echoed Smith's sentiments about the man who skippered his Blues side during the 2008 series loss to Queensland.

"I don't think I've met a more humble bloke considering the position he's in," Bellamy said.

"He's admired by everybody that plays with and against him he's a real credit to our game, his family and the Knights.
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