Lockyer certain to start Test: Webcke - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer certain to start Test: Webcke

By Brent Read and Darren Walton 22/07/2003 08:58:09 PM Comments (0)

Shane Webcke declared his Brisbane and Queensland teammate Darren Lockyer a certain starter for Australia in Friday night's Test against New Zealand.

Australian selectors have placed Sydney Roosters' Queensland utility Shannon Hegarty on standby in case Lockyer's nagging ankle injury rules him out of the Trans-Tasman confrontation.

The durable 26-year-old has carried the injury for most of the season, yet still been among the best performers for the Broncos week in, week out and was also a standout for the beaten Maroons during the Origin series.

Webcke had no doubt the brilliant fullback would run onto Aussie Stadium for his 17th Test.

"He has been carrying it a long time. I don't think a week is going to hurt that," he said.

"I would say in his own mind he's looking to get through this game and then have a week or two off club footy to get it right.

"It's not a bad injury, it's just a time thing. It's going to take some time for him to get over it.

"I fully expect him to play."

Lockyer is not expected to start running again until Thursday, with Anthony Minichiello ready to move to fullback and Hegarty to come onto the wing should Australia's first-choice custodian not recover in time to tackle the Kiwis.

Webcke challenged the New Zealand forwards' ability to make good its promise after veteran prop and captain Ruben Wiki's call that the Test would be a "bashathon".

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