Records beckon for Lockyer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Records beckon for Lockyer

Laine Clark 03/01/2011 05:19:52 PM Comments (0)

Australian captain Darren Lockyer is poised to rewrite records for most Test, Origin and NRL appearances after declaring himself available for a full schedule in 2011.

If ever 33-year-old Lockyer was going to think twice about his rugby league future, it was going to be at the Broncos' dreaded first post-Christmas training session on Monday.

But instead of feeling the pinch, the veteran beat all his younger Broncos teammates in a gruelling 1200m fitness test before declaring himself available for representative duty.

Lockyer had left the door open to rep retirement after the Kangaroos' upset Four Nations final loss to New Zealand in November, but as he prepared for a 17th first grade season, such thoughts had clearly been banished.

"At this stage I'm set for another full schedule of representative football," Lockyer said.

Lockyer's season will start with the All Stars game at Skilled Park on February 12 and could run right through to the Four Nations in England and Wales from October.

The humble Australian skipper may not play for records, but he is set to break a few after Monday's statement of intent.

He is just one short of Kiwi legend Ruben Wiki's world Test record of 55 and one shy of Allan Langer's milestone of 34 Origins.

And Lockyer is 16 short of the 349 first grade games played by both Terry Lamb and Steve Menzies.

Then there is the lure of leading Queensland to a sixth straight Origin series win.

After toasting Christmas and the New Year, Lockyer was "welcomed" back along with Sam Thaiday to the Broncos top squad with the fitness test in steamy conditions.

But Lockyer hardly looked like a veteran of 333 first grade games as he fed off the likes of youngster Corey Norman, who nearly reeled in his captain by the end.

"The first day back of pre-season is always pretty tough," Lockyer said.

"But there are a lot of young kids here who are enjoying themselves and make it enjoyable.

"There is a good feel around training."

It is not just Brisbane's department of youth that has spurred on Lockyer.

The return of old mate Dane Carlaw from a UK Super League stint has brought a smile to Lockyer's face.

"It's good to have him back," Lockyer said.

"I was starting to feel a little lost there, everyone was falling away around me - it's good to see one of the old boys back."

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