Lockyer showing no signs of slowing down - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer showing no signs of slowing down

By Wayne Heming 24/03/2010 08:41:54 PM Comments (0)

He's about to become a first-time father and is only weeks away from making one of the biggest decisions of his career but, at 33, Darren Lockyer is displaying no signs of slowing down.

Now into his 16th straight NRL season with Brisbane, the champion five-eighth embraced his 33rd birthday on Wednesday, declaring "I'm 30 and some months" and deflecting any talk about his advancing years.

His coach Ivan Henjak, who's been at the Broncos in some form of coaching capacity for well over a decade, could not recall his veteran skipper ever being so fresh starting a year - a sign he may be about to announce he is taking his representative career into another season.

Lockyer is less than two weeks away from an Australian Rugby League deadline to decide whether he continues playing for Queensland (30 games) and Australia (50 games).

But according to Henjak and the Broncos, Queensland and Australian teammate Sam Thaiday, Lockyer hasn't given anything away about which way he is leaning.

He has sought advice from close friends, including long-time coach Wayne Bennett, and been given advice by others such as Queensland immortal Arthur Beetson not to go on one season too long.

Another immortal, Queensland legend Wally Lewis told AAP on Wednesday the decision was ultimately Lockyer's to make and it really didn't matter what anybody else thought.

Henjak agreed.

"Darren has kept it close to his chest and it's his decision to make. I haven't pressured him at all," the coach said after watching Lockyer train at Red Hill before staying back for some goal-kicking practice.

"I've said it many times, he's earned the right to make that decision without pressure from me or the club.

"I don't know if he has any external pressures and I certainly don't want to add to it if he has.

"He hasn't shown me any indication he's got the weight of the world on his shoulders or that he's slowing down."

Henjak said after a month of footy, Lockyer would know how his body was holding up.

"For his 16th year, it's the freshest I've seen him for a long, long time and he's been our best trainer," he said.

Henjak said Lockyer looked so comfortable it was possible he'd already made up his mind.

"He might already know and that's why he is looking so relaxed," he said.

"I've got no doubts he'll handle it if he decides to go that way and we'll be fine with it and we'll move on."

Queensland coach Mal Meninga said he had no idea what Lockyer would do.

"At the moment he's fresh and I've got my fingers crossed he will be available for (State of) Origin," Meninga told Network Ten.

Meninga said Gold Coast halfback Scott Prince would make sure Queensland's halves remained strong in their bid for a fifth straight Origin series.

"Every time he's played for Queensland, Scotty's done the job," he said.

"If Darren makes the decision not to play for Queensland, we've got a ready made fix with Scott."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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