Gidley on bench no disadvantage: Lockyer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley on bench no disadvantage: Lockyer

By Wayne Heming 10/06/2010 01:51:07 PM Comments (0)

Darren Lockyer says NSW have enough experienced players not to be disadvantaged with captain Kurt Gidley playing off the bench on Wednesday night.

Gidley retained the Blues' captaincy but has been relegated from fullback to bench utility so the brilliant Jarryd Hayne can switch to his favoured position.

It's an unusual situation for a captain to be on the bench but Lockyer, who's led Queensland and Australia so many times, said it shouldn't be a problem for the Blues at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

"I don't think it's going to be a big issue for them, they've got other leaders out on the park while he's not there," said Lockyer on Thursday.

"His role through the week is just as important as it is on the night in the game.

"If it happened to me, I'd just accept it and do my job as I normally would.

"When you get to the game, just because you have letter "c" beside your name, it doesn't mean a hell of a lot."

Lockyer, who lines up for Origin number 32 with no signs of stopping, said Gidley would willingly handle whatever role coach Craig Bellamy handed him.

"I'm not sure how he'd be feeling but I know the type of bloke he is and he'll want what's best for the team," said Lockyer.

"Even if he's a little disappointed, I'm sure he'll put that aside and do a good job, which he always does."

On paper, Lockyer believes the side NSW assigned to keep the 2010 series alive and avert a fifth straight series loss, looks better than the one which lost game one 28-24 in Sydney last month.

"(Paul) Gallen and (Trent) Barrett are playing well for the Sharks and they add a lot of experience," he said.

"Gallen and (Luke) O'Donnell are strong, physical players and Hindy (Nathan Hindmarsh) is a real worker, he's a bit like Ashley Harrison for us, he tackles all night.

"You really need one of those guys in your forward pack."

Lockyer admitted he'd been very impressed with young Blues No.7 Mitchell Pearce who he felt would benefit from having a player with Barrett's experience outside him.

The son of former NSW and Australian great Wayne Pearce, was hailed as a long term Origin No.7 but after making his debut in the second game of the 2008 series has not returned until now.

"Barrett has the experience to help him and compliment him game a bit this time," said Lockyer.

"Maybe when he came in with (Braith) Anasta (2008) it was a little less experience and a tougher ask for him."

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