Lockyer joins Mal as second most capped - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer joins Mal as second most capped

By Wayne Heming 16/06/2010 03:29:04 PM Comments (0)

Skipper Darren Lockyer will join Mal Meninga as Queensland's second most capped State of Origin player when he leads the Maroons out in Wednesday night's clash with NSW.

Lockyer equalled Origin great Wally Lewis' mark of 31 Origins in Sydney last month and will move alongside current Queensland coach Meninga with 32 at Suncorp Stadium.

Former Maroons halfback Allan Langer is the only player to have appeared in more Origins with 34 games.

Queensland can make it a special night for Lockyer and also injured props Petero Civoniceva (26 games) and Steve Price (28) who have been invited into the team camp to hopefully share in a fifth straight series win as recognition of their contribution.

Queensland, who took game one 28-24 in Sydney, are warm favourites to clinch the series in front of a sellout crowd but Meninga has warned his players NSW will be committed and desperate to keep the series alive.

Meninga expects NSW, who he says have picked a better team than for game one, to attempt to slow his team down in the ruck in a bid to minimise the impact of their brilliant backline.

Meninga says he has noted the presence of the Melbourne Storm wrestling coach in the Blues camp and has worked on tactics to counter any efforts to slow the game down when Queensland are attacking.

"We have to assume they're going to try and wrestle us on the ground and we've done a fair bit of work on that," said Meninga.

"Hopefully we get our fair share from the referees on that and both teams are allowed play footy."

The Blues could pull a few late positional changes with Meninga anticipating NSW captain Kurt Gidley will start at fullback with Jarryd Hayne reverting to the wing ahead of Joel Monaghan who was called into the team late after Timana Tahu walked out.

Queensland have proven strike players in Johnathan Thurston, Darren Lockyer, Greg Inglis, Israel Folau and Billy Slater and the difficult task for NSW could be scoring enough points to win the game, having opted for two noted defensive centres in Matt Cooper and Dragons teammate Beau Scott, who will make his Origin debut.

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