Lockyer could be the last of his kind - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer could be the last of his kind

By Wayne Heming 25/06/2010 04:45:17 PM Comments (0)

Ivan Henjak has credited record-breaker Darren Lockyer with helping him make the step up as an NRL coach and in shaping the proud winning culture at the Broncos.

On the eve of Lockyer breaking Cronulla favourite Andrew Ettingshausen's one club NRL record of 328 appearances against Parramatta on Saturday, Henjak predicted rugby league may never seen another player with Lockyer's loyalty.

"Everything he's receiving at the moment is deserved," said Henjak of his captain who's re-writing rugby league's record books.

"I think there'll be a few more records broken before he's finished.

"I said to the players last week I didn't know whether we'd see another one of those in our lifetime.

"He's been such a loyal player with the way the salary cap is and the amount of money in the game these days. We just might not see another one like him again."

Henjak revealed when he came back in 2006 as Wayne Bennett's assistant after a five year break, Lockyer had been a big help to him.

"I learned a hell of a lot off him because I'd been out of the game for five years and he was a great person to pick up the changes that had happened," said Henjak.

"He's been wonderful in his knowledge and advice in the time I've been head coach.

"He's going great for us. It's a lot better than him with his head down, body broken - I've seen that in him too - and it's been tough going.

"While his body language and his enthusiasm is like it is, it rubs off on the rest of the team and it makes things a hell of a lot easier."

Even though Lockyer concedes veteran utility Steve Menzies still holds the unofficial record at 349 games for Manly and the Northern Eagles (his record isn't recognised despite the Eagles being a joint venture dominated by Manly), Henjak said the milestones were a just reward for one of the game's great players.

Lockyer will surpass Menzies' amazing mark if Brisbane advance to the club's 19th straight finals series.

It's no coincidence Brisbane have enjoyed the most successful finals record of the modern era with Lockyer now in his 16th season and still playing wonderfully well at 33.

"He's just a real competitor," said Henjak when asked what kept driving Lockyer.

"He's also got a real commitment and a great love for this football club.

"He's been here such a long time. He's right up there with the people (Wayne Bennett) that have made the club what it is.

"He's been a big part of that."

Henjak hoped some of the exciting talent such as Josh Hoffman, Corey Norman, Jharal Yow Yeh, Ben Hunt and Andrew McCullough, who were privileged to play alongside Lockyer, would want to be one club players.

"You always hope. I'd love to be able to keep this group together, but the reality is, as you've seen with Melbourne, that's very difficult to do," he said.

"It's just the environment we're in with the NRL and rugby league at the moment.

"There's a lot of competitors out there and a lot of money getting thrown around. Young kids have to make some pretty big decisions."

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