No spots guaranteed for Lockyer farewell - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No spots guaranteed for Lockyer farewell

Wayne Heming 14/06/2011 06:35:45 PM Comments (0)

Queensland warhorse Petero Civoniceva says a spot in Darren Lockyer's final State of Origin appearance next month is not guaranteed if NSW square the series on Wednesday night.

While Queensland selectors had a history of sticking with players, Civoniceva said the depth of their talent pool was now so deep that a poor performance at ANZ Stadium could prove costly.

"That's been the (selectors') form for quite some time but, for all of us, it's not something we take lightly," the 35-year-old Penrith skipper said.

"We all know our responsibilities to this team and, if you fall short, you've got no excuses.

"We're at a stage where Queensland have some pretty good candidates waiting in the wings to be a part of this team.

"We're all aware of that."

Hooker Cameron Smith, the player most likely to assume Lockyer's captaincy role next year, said coach Mal Meninga could accept a loss if his players performed to their best on the night.

"As long as we all put in a strong performance, I'd like to see us finish the job (in Brisbane)," said Smith, who would line up for Origin No.23.

"Mal never asks anything of any of us other than to do our best.

"If we do our best and it's not good enough, he'll put up with that and we'll put up with that."

The veteran Brisbane, Maroons and Australian five-eighth will eclipse another Queensland great in Allan Langer on Wednesday night when he leads his side in a record 35th Origin appearance.

Smith didn't know if he could continue pushing his body against bigger players long enough to break Lockyer's record.

"I'd love to play State of Origin as long as I can and as long as I'm good enough to keep wearing the No.9 for Queensland," he said.

"It would be nice to get that many Origins, but I haven't got a target in mind.

"It's a fair effort what he's (Lockyer's) done. He's going to play 36 - it's a fair effort with the intensity of the matches these days and with all the rep footy he's played.

"It will take plenty of beating, and I'm playing in the middle taking a battering from the big blokes, but I'll do my best.

"As long as I am playing well, I'll put my hand up for Queensland every day of the week."

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