Lockyer in sight of record - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer in sight of record

Laine Clark And Wayne Heming 02/05/2011 06:37:12 PM Comments (0)

The way New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney sees it, an Australian won't be taking over Kiwi legend Ruben Wiki's record for most Test matches.

"It's one true legend taking over another really," Kearney said on Monday.

In his swansong year, Kangaroos skipper Darren Lockyer will play his 55th Test in Friday night's trans-Tasman clash at Skilled Park - equalling Wiki's mark.

Lockyer, 34, is expected to make the record his own in the Test against New Zealand at Newcastle in October before embarking on a Four Nations campaign.

Kearney said Wiki would have no problem with an Aussie removing him from the record books.

"He would appreciate what Darren has done to break his record," he said.

"It's a wonderful achievement on Darren's behalf and he's been such a fantastic leader not just for Australia but for Queensland and obviously the Broncos."

His playing days may be well behind him but Wiki's influence can still be felt on the New Zealand team as part of the support staff.

"He's such a wonderful guy to have around the group, and so well respected," Kearney said.

"He carries a real aura about him, which is great for the players to absorb and experience."

But it sounded like New Zealand captain Benji Marshall was in awe of Lockyer ahead of their one-off Test.

"I honestly think he has not played much better than he is at the moment," he said of Lockyer on Monday.

"He is running the ball a lot more, taking the line on which he hasn't done in the last couple of years.

"He is a great leader and an inspiration to any team he plays in.

"I am just fortunate enough to have played in an era when I have been able to play against him and with him as well (in the NRL All Stars team).

"It was unbelievable seeing guys like Darren prepare - he is the ultimate professional and such a good guy.

"My dream was to be able to play like him so to get to play with him was a dream come true."

AAP lc/g

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