No pressure over Lockyer's rep decision - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No pressure over Lockyer's rep decision

By Wayne Heming 30/11/2009 08:12:29 PM Comments (0)

Champion Brisbane five-eighth Darren Lockyer will have as much time as he needs to decide whether he wants to continue his representative career or call it quits.

Lockyer, still to formally sign a new two-year contract with the Broncos, is weighing up his representative future following a season in which he led Queensland to an unprecedented fourth straight Origin series and set a number of personal records in taking Australia to a Four Nations series win in the UK.

There's been talk that at 32, and with 50 Tests and 30 Origins taking their toll on his body and with nothing more to achieve, Lockyer should step down as Queensland and Australian captain and save himself for the Broncos' premiership cause.

But Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak said on Monday Australia's most capped player would be allowed to make up his own mind without pressure or interference from him or the Broncos.

"I haven't, and the club has never put any pressure on Darren in terms of rep footy," said Henjak, who'd like to have his champion playmaker around during Origin when the club's halves depth is usually tested.

"He's earned the right to make that decision on his own and we'll let him do that.

"I'm not going to pressure him in any way and I've told him the decision is his.

"He's got some time to think about it and I'm sure he has been thinking about it even before he went away on tour."

Lockyer was solid in the opening games on the Four Nations without starring but as he so often does, pulled out a big game in the final against England.

"He's achieved everything he can in rep footy, he's broken all those records and he's got nothing else to prove," said Henjak.

"He'll make the right decision I'm sure."

Should Lockyer seek exemption from representative duty after so many years of service, it would greatly help Brisbane negotiate its Origin bogey.

And with former Parramatta bad boy Tim Smith looking to resurrect his NRL career via Queensland Cup side Brisbane Easts which would allow the Broncos to call on his services in 2010, the club would be well equipped to cope even if halfback Peter Wallace was required for the NSW Origin team.

Henjak was forced to throw a lot of youngsters into NRL battle last season, including halfback Ben Hunt, who probably were not quite ready.

"In a perfect world when the club had a lot more depth, those young kids would not have played those games," said Henjak.

"But they had to, and they've got some valuable experience out of it.

"It will be a new challenge for them this year because the opposition and the coaches know who they are and have done their homework.

"But we've got another group of young kids coming up who'll just as keen to get a chance."

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