Mark made his debut against Bristol back in 2001 and last season broke the Premiership try scoring record when he touched down (the 76th try of his career) against Exeter Chiefs.
We caught up with Mark during a break in training and asked him what his targets were for the coming season. He said, " I want to score a few more tries, I know Tom Varndell is closing in on my tally. I would hate us to be involved in another relegation scrap like last season, we need to get off to a good start this time and hopefully we can finish in the top half of the Premiership and qualify for the Heineken Cup again."
Talking about the highpoints in his career, Mark replied, " Winning the Premiership in 2006 was undoubtedly the best moment for me at club level. Playing in a World Cup Final ranks high too (and yes it was a try!). Playing for the Lions in New Zealand was a great achievement too. I only got a late call after Iain Balshaw pulled out so to make the starting 15 in a test was special."
We asked Mark who he saw as the man to take his place on a regular basis in the Sharks team, he said, " Tom Brady without doubt. He is a great athlete, works hard, but needs to keep learning about the game. He is incredibly quick and scores crucial tries like the one against Bath in March. He is a local lad and I can see him being a prolific try scorer for the club."
Asked what he will do for a living when he finally hangs up those boots Mark said, " I would really like to get involved in broadcasting. I have done a lot of radio work over the last 12 months for BBC Five Live. It's great for me as Media City is so close to the training ground. I have also been a guest on ESPN's coverage and hopefully will get invited to join in with the BT coverage. BT are really going to make people sit up and take notice of the sport."
The British & Irish Lions went 1-0 up in the series last weekend. Can the Lions win a series for the first time since 1997? Mark said, " Yes they can, I thought Australia would win the first game but now the Lions have gone 1-0 up I don't think they will lose a test match. The Lions didn't play all that well last weekend but won and that's so important."
Finally Mark will you drop down the levels and play rugby socially when you retire? Mark smiled and said, " No chance, when I walk off after the last game that's it. I have already had the call from Altrincham Kersal."
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