Widdop happy to follow Lockyer's footsteps - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Widdop happy to follow Lockyer's footsteps

Melissa Woods 06/06/2011 04:00:11 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Storm five-eighth Gareth Widdop is happy to emulate his childhood hero Darren Lockyer, although not when it comes to playing for Queensland.

Like Australian skipper Lockyer did at Brisbane, Widdop has shifted from fullback to No.6 and is winning plaudits for his adjustment to the new role.

He helped the Storm to a gritty 16-6 win over Souths on Sunday at ANZ Stadium.

"When I was growing up I was watching Darren Lockyer a lot," said Widdop, when asked if there was a five-eighth he admired.

"He's obviously one of the world's best players so I watched a lot of footage of him."

But don't expect the England-born Widdop, who has played four Tests for his country, to ever follow Lockyer's path into the Maroons or any other Origin line-up.

Despite moving to Australia six years ago and now being settled with an Australian partner and baby son, the 22 year-old is an Englishman through and through.

"Origin's a massive occasion but coming from England and the heritage I've got ... I'm proud to be English and to play for them," he said.

Asked if he'd be disowned by his parents if he switched allegiance he said: "Yes, definitely, and everyone else at home."

Widdop said he was looking forward to a heavier work-load when the Storm face the Roosters next Monday night.

Melbourne will be without their Origin stars, including Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Dane Nielsen.

The Storm hold down second spot on the NRL ladder while the Roosters are back in 13th position, despite beating the Warriors 13-6.

"It's going to be a big challenge for myself," Widdop said.

"Obviously Cronk, who is the dominant half in the team, he's the one who calls all the shots.

"He's not going to be there so I'm going to have to take it upon myself."

The Roosters are set to be without New Zealand Test centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall, who damaged his ankle in the win.

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