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Lockyer sure Folau will fit in nicely

By Wayne Heming 29/01/2009 06:05:26 PM Comments (0)

Like most Broncos fans, skipper Darren Lockyer has been swept up in the excitement generated by Brisbane's superstar recruit Israel Folau.

Lockyer has played around 70 Origin and Test matches and more than 300 games for the Broncos.

Yet such is Folau's potential Lockyer is keen to help forge the career of a player who may well go on and re-write some of his playing records.

Lockyer was 22 when he played the first of 36 Tests for Australia in 1998.

By comparison, Folau was 18 years and 194 days old when he became the youngest player to don the green and gold in 2007.

The opportunity to be part of a Broncos backline featuring the talents of Karmichael Hunt (22), Justin Hodges (26) and 20-year-old Folau could well help influence an off-contract Lockyer to reject several head-turning English offers and re-sign with Brisbane.

And while he can't wait to get on the field with Folau, a cautious Lockyer says the arrival of the young try scoring machine doesn't guarantee things will be easy in 2009.

"It all sounds pretty exciting," Lockyer told AAP on Thursday.

"We can easily fall into the trap of thinking it's going to be easy but I know that won't be the case at all.

"We'll have to put in a lot of hard work on our combinations and then I'm sure we'll be rewarded."

Coach Ivan Henjak hasn't revealed whether the 105kg Folau will make his debut for Brisbane in his preferred centre position or shift onto the wing on the end of what could be an all-representative back line.

Lockyer and Hunt have developed an attacking combination that has created many tries over the past three or four seasons.

Folau would add a new dimension to that tactic making it even harder to defend against.

"Izzy is a great talent and we're really pleased to have him here in Brisbane," said Lockyer, who is expected to iron out his own future within the next fortnight.

"The thing about having players like him is it brings confidence to the team because he is a match-winner.

"Guys like K (Hunt) who runs that `out the back' play very well and likes to use his wingers will work well with Izzy.

"We're not sure when Hodgo (Hodges) will be back .... but he's also very good at drawing in players and he can also slip it onto Izzy."

Lockyer said while he would not make an appearance in the trials, his troublesome knee was coming along "very well" and he was on target to be on deck for the round one clash with the Cowboys.

"Since I had the original reconstruction (in 2007) it's probably the first time I've been able get back without doing a lot of work on the leg," Lockyer said on Thursday.

"The knee feels like it's enjoyed the break and it feels really strong.

"My last couple of pre-seasons have been hampered by injury so I'm looking forward to getting into really good physical shape before round one."

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