Lockyer to be rugby league ambassador - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer to be rugby league ambassador

By Laine Clark 03/08/2011 04:03:35 PM Comments (0)

Work has already been lined up for Darren Lockyer by the NRL in 2012, but the retiring Australian captain may yet play one final match next year - the All Stars showdown.

Preston Campbell, the inspiration behind the annual pre-season All Stars match, extended an invitation for Lockyer to bow out in next year's clash, which could be the festival game's last hurrah on the Gold Coast before a move to a bigger stadium.

Not that Lockyer will be short of things to do, if the NRL have their way.

NRL boss David Gallop said on Wednesday that talks had already begun to use record-breaking Test skipper Lockyer as an ambassador to promote the Test program.

"He has worn the Kangaroos jersey with great pride over a long period and that is certainly one area we have talked to him about, an ongoing role helping us promote international football," Gallop said.

"His profile can help us promote Test footy and remind everyone from the players to our commercial partners that the Kangaroo jersey is the epitome of this game.

"I think you will see him involved in that over the next few years.

"I think there will be a range of other things open to Darren once he finally hangs the boots up, possibly with a premiership come October."

Wendell Sailor came out of retirement to play one last game for the first Indigenous All Stars team - and Campbell did not rule out Lockyer running out for possibly the last All Stars game on the tourist strip.

"It's up to him but he will always be welcome," Campbell said of Lockyer.

"It would be great to see him out there.

"If he wants to play in it he is more than welcome to come along."

Gallop said on Wednesday the NRL was considering moving the All Stars game from the 27,480-capacity Skilled Park to a bigger stadium.

"It is something that we are going to have to look at," he said.

"We go into the last year of the arrangement (at Skilled Park) next year. Certainly there is potential that it will outgrow that stadium."

Lockyer has already been guaranteed a fitting farewell at home ground Suncorp Stadium after the NRL confirmed Brisbane's final round clash against Manly would be scheduled on Sunday, September 4.

There were fears television ratings would determine the schedule and make it a Friday night clash.

Gallop was gushing in his praise of Lockyer on Tuesday, saying he hoped the match was a stepping stone to a "fairytale" finish for the Queensland State of Origin captain.

"We have got the last home game on a Sunday afternoon now so families can say goodbye to him," he said.

"Legend gets thrown around a bit in sport but this is a genuine legend - on and off the field he is a champion.

"And the Broncos are genuine contenders. There is a lot to look forward with a potential fairytale for Darren Lockyer."

Lockyer equals the NRL record for games played (349) on Saturday night against the Warriors.

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