Lockyer wants to play on for Queensland - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer wants to play on for Queensland

By Wayne Heming 06/04/2010 07:36:29 PM Comments (0)

Queensland needed another spur after winning a record fourth straight State of Origin series and now they have it.

Darren Lockyer's declaration on Tuesday that he's up for one last series has ensured the Maroons will ride a wave of emotion in 2010.

Coach Mal Meninga says his team will use sentiment surrounding farewells to greats Lockyer, Steve Price and probably Petero Civoniceva to fuel their 2010 Origin campaign.

Lockyer acknowledged that support from Meninga and Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens helped sway him away in the last couple of days after he'd all but resigned himself to representative retirement.

The 33-year-old Australian and Queensland captain announced he wanted to play one last season for his state and country.

But he admitted he was close calling it quits to focus on helping his last-placed Brisbane team after their 25-6 pounding by the Roosters on Good Friday.

Lockyer's decision came on the same day long-time Maroons comrade Price, 36, announced he'll retire from rugby league after this season.

And while 33-year-old Civoniceva is yet to declare an end to his rep future, Lockyer appeared to let slip the giant prop may also leave the Origin scene after this year.

"They (Price and Civoniceva) have signalled this is their last (representative) year," said Lockyer.

"We've been through a lot together as players and as mates and that was a small part of my decision to be able to go out with them as well."

The trio first played together in the 2002 Origin series and started together 12 times, tasting success on nine of those occasions.

Meninga said achieving a fitting exit for some Maroons greats would help drive his team.

"Internally it will make us even stronger, we'll meld around that," he said.

"We're not going to talk about winning five in a row, we're going to talk about being as good as we possibly can as a group of people.

"The result of that will be success so we send people like Darren, and Pricey and Petero, if he makes that decision, out as winners."

Lockyer acknowledged some critics would disagree with his decision to put his hand up for rep football again.

"Basically what it came down to was that I felt I would have far more regrets if I retired," said Lockyer, who vowed to continue giving 100 per cent to his young and struggling club team.

Meninga had no doubt Lockyer had made the right choice and had more to offer as he seeks to continue his 50-Test, 30-Origin rep career into a 14th season.

"The Broncos are going through a tough period and he is the leader of that club and he feels an enormous burden on his shoulders," Meninga said.

"But Gordie Tallis got it right - Darren Lockyer doesn't owe anybody anything.

"I think he's done the right thing, he's not ready to retire just yet.

"The reason why Darren Lockyer is so successful is because he is very honest.

"Any past player can tell you that you know when your time is up mentally and physically and when it's time to hang up the boots. Darren hasn't found that yet."

Meninga said Lockyer had a pivotal role in Queensland's Origin history.

"Darren is the conduit from yesteryear to the future," he said.

"I keep telling him (Lockyer) he's an important bridge between us older blokes and the younger blokes.

"He's got a passion for the maroon jersey, he understands it's culture and the expectations that go with wearing it.

"I'm kind of hoping he is going to leave his legacy on Origin footy for a long time to come."

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