Lockyer expected to wear protective

Queensland rugby league skipper Darren Lockyer is expected to wear a protective arm brace in the 25th anniversary State of Origin series opener against New South Wales in Brisbane tomorrow night after a late training incident.

Lockyer injured his forearm near the elbow in a tackling drill as Queensland put the finishing touches on its Origin I preparation at Suncorp Stadium today.

He appeared to be in pain and discomfort for several minutes but Maroons management initially played down the incident.

However, Queensland staff were expected to construct a brace cast for Lockyer in a bid to protect the prized Maroons playmaker from what will be a heavy assault from the NSW pack.

Queensland's preparation has already been disrupted by the withdrawal of injured lock Tonie Carroll.

The State of Origin rugby league series is locked up at 35 wins apiece with two draws.