Lockyer and Bennett All Gold

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Kiwi Eagle

Staff member
Snaring two of world's best is all gold
By JOHN MATHESON - Sunday News | Sunday, 8 July 2007

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Super coach Wayne Bennett and his Broncos star Darren Lockyer will join forces with the Kiwis for the All Golds' commemorative game in October.

Last night both men said they were humbled to be involved in an occasion celebrating the 100th anniversary of the All Golds' trailblazing tour to the United Kingdom in 1907.

"This is a great honour and it's unique in the game," said Bennett. "It's an absolute privilege for both Darren and I to be asked to be involved. The match against the Northern Union is a celebration of 100 years of international rugby league and that makes it really special to me.

"The game itself will be the beneficiary of this initiative."

Lockyer had been sought as the modern-day equivalent of the legendary Australian H H (Dally) Messenger, who was invited to join the original All Golds on the 1907 tour.

"It's the first and probably only time I'll be asked to do anything like this," said Lockyer.

"It's a special privilege to be involved when I see this team is honouring Dally Messenger, who was the man at the forefront of starting rugby league in not just Australia but also New Zealand."

The invitation to play for the All Golds in Warrington on October 20 caps a memorable week for Lockyer in which he celebrated Queensland's State of Origin series win on Wednesday and followed it by playing a record-equalling 274th first-grade match for the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night.

He celebrated that occasion by kicking the golden point match-winning field goal against Gold Coast.

NZRL director of football Graham Lowe couldn't conceal his delight about Bennett and Lockyer taking up their invitations.

"Having this All Golds match is hugely exciting not just for the New Zealand Rugby League but for the game as a whole," he said.

"And to have the world's best coach and best player involved is a real coup. From the very first time we approached Wayne, he has been so enthusiastic about this.

"He was instrumental in the revival of rugby league at international level and he didn't hesitate when he was invited to be involved. The same has been true of Darren."

Bennett has guided Canberra and Brisbane in a combined total of 519 first-grade matches, winning all six grand finals he has been in with the Broncos while losing one with Canberra in 1987. He boasts a career winning percentage of almost 65 percent. He also coached the Maroons in 22 State of Origin matches - winning five series - and was Australian coach in 1998 and again in 2004-05.

Lockyer has been in many of Bennett's successful sides at international, Origin and club level, and has twice been named the winner of the Golden Boot Award as the international player of the year.


Journey Man
Those two will let the side be what it should.

Johns would have abused the whole thing for self-promotion purposes.

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