Lockyer to be rested against PNG - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer to be rested against PNG

By Wayne Heming 04/11/2008 03:14:24 PM Comments (0)

Coach Ricky Stuart will rest Australian captain Darren Lockyer but says the decision has nothing to do with any empathy for Sunday's World Cup underdogs Papua New Guinea in Townsville.

"I haven't told the players the team, but I will be giving Darren a spell," Stuart told AAP from Townsville.

"He's got a cork on his bicep, but he'll be fine."

The decision means Lockyer (43 Tests) will have to wait until next year to equal and break former champion Mel Meninga's all-time record of 46 Tests.

The beneficiary will be Raiders five-eighth Terry Campese, one of several "Emus" handed their Test debuts against the Kumuls who will lose rugged prop Mikali Aizue.

Aizue will plead guilty to unnecessary contact with the head or neck of Kiwi Sam Perrett in the first minute of their clash and miss one game.

Lockyer suffered a corked bicep in Australia's demolition of England last weekend.

But Stuart said the arm injury was only a minor and not tournament threatening.

Stuart is keen for his Kangaroo reserves, or Emus as they are nicknamed, to be rewarded with Test jumpers, a move which worked well for him during the 2006 Tri Nations.

The Emus are the other members of Australia's 24-man squad who train and help prepare the Kangaroos.

"There's not a player who hasn't got the ability to play a Test or has prepared accordingly," said Stuart.

Campese, Darius Boyd, Anthony Watmough and David Williams are in line for their Test debuts when Stuart announces his Test 17 on Wednesday while veteran Rooster Craig Fitzgibbon will earn a 16th international cap.

Stuart was adamant he was not showing PNG, belted by New Zealand last weekend, any sympathy and insisted the players he picked would be worthy of wearing the green and gold.

He warned the Kumuls could expect nothing less than 110 per cent from Australia.

"I'm all about promoting the game but once the contest starts there's no place for anything except getting the job done," said a ruthless Stuart who had the Kangaroos primed for the challenge against England.

Australia have the day off on Wednesday while PNG have two training sessions scheduled but that may change depending on coach Adrian Lam's preparation plans.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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