Lockyer still undecided on rep future - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer still undecided on rep future

By Wayne Heming 22/02/2010 05:57:15 PM Comments (0)

Australian captain Darren Lockyer respects Arthur Beetson's opinion that he should end his representative career but says he's still about six weeks from a decision he doesn't want to regret.

One of rugby league's seven Immortals, Beetson played representative football until his was 36.

He has expressed concern that Lockyer, who will be 33 next month, could go one season too many after appearing "off the pace" at times last season.

Beetson said if Lockyer decided to go around again this year he risked putting Australian selectors in the difficult position of having to drop him.

Alternatively, if he retired from rep football he would go out on a high, having led Queensland to a record four straight Origin series' wins last year and as Australia's most successful and capped captain following the 2009 Four-Nations series triumph.

Lockyer, who has canvassed the opinions of a number of respected rugby league minds, said he would take Beetson's opinion on board, believing they were heart-felt sentiments from a living legend.

"Everyone will have an opinion on it and I respect everyone's opinion, especially a guy like Arthur," Lockyer told AAP on Monday.

"It's something I wanted to take my time about because it's one decision you really want to get right.

"At the end of the day... it's about how I feel."

Looking super-fit, Lockyer wants to be honest with himself and base his decision around how he's feeling physically and mentally after his first month of NRL action, even though he doesn't enjoy the on-going speculation.

His original plan was to gauge how he felt after the All Stars game and a couple of trial matches his but the bicep injury he suffered for the All Stars meant he'll probably get to play only the one trial this weekend.

"I was told the other day I have until after round four to make my decision (and notify the ARL) so I'd be silly not to take that up," said Lockyer, who will also factor in becoming a father for the first time in a few months.

"I'll know the answer within myself.

"If I play on I'll want to be able to give both Queensland and Australia and the Broncos 100 per cent commitment.

"If I feel that I won't be able to do that then now would obviously be a good time to finish up."

Lockyer didn't take issue with Beetson's observation that he was a little off the pace at times in 2009, though he felt he finished the season strongly, borne out by his great form for Australia in their end-of-year Four Nations victory.

"I remember mid-season last year, Artie (Beetson) said I was a bit off the pace, and I agree with him.

"There were times last year when I was off the pace but I did a few things towards the end of the year where I worked harder at training and I found a bit of form again.

"If I'm going into the start of the season and I'm not where I want to be, I think it jeopardises a few things so we will have to wait and see.

"The down side to that is all the speculation which comes with it."

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