PREVIEW 🔍 Robert Crosby looks at what to expect in Sunday night's second State of Origin clash.
7 hours ago
Brisbane captain Darren Lockyer breezed through training and is set to start in Friday night's NRL clash against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium.
Lockyer was so impressive that assistant coach Ivan Henjak revealed after training that plans to bring Lockyer off the bench had been scrapped.
"He'll start," said Henjak, delivering two words that will bring joy to Bronco's fans and Australian selectors who have been sweating on his return from knee soreness.
Lockyer declined to comment after training the house down at Red Hill, clearly focusing all his attention on Friday night's comeback.
Lockyer has been battling knee soreness in his right leg since undergoing reconstructive surgery last year and has already made two attempts to come back.
Thursday was the best he has looked on the training paddock this season and Henjak was confident he would make a successful return.
"Darren is feeling good, he's quite confident on the knee and he wanted to start the game," said Henjak.
Lockyer's desire to start is a good indication the knee is pain free and he has rediscovered some lost confidence.
"Darren's been really keen to get back on the field and he's got a lot of confidence out of the way the knee has responded to rest and looking forward to starting.
"I think he's been really missing that."
If Lockyer comes through the match unscathed then he will likely be the first player chosen on Sunday night to lead Australia against New Zealand in the Centenary Test in Sydney on May 9.
It would be Lockyer's 37th Test, pulling him one closer to Mal Meninga's record number of 45 Tests.
The Broncos will be without fullback Karmichael Hunt and second rower Corey Parker, both sidelined with knee injuries, while South Sydney will be desperately hoping to end their winless season with a massive upset.