24th March 2020, 13:13 | 125
On this day in 1977, Australian Rugby League legend Darren Lockyer was born in Brisbane, Queensland.
Lockyer spent his entire playing career with Brisbane Broncos whist also representing Queensland State and Australia.
To date, he has made more appearances (59) and scored more tries (35) than any other player in history for Australia. He made a try-scoring appearance in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup Final for the Kangaroos as they ran out 40-12 victors over New Zealand at Old Trafford.
For Queensland, he sits third in the all-time appearance list, behind only fellow greats Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston, with 36 appearances. Lockyer scored nine tries and amassed 86 points for Queensland captaining them to six consecutive State of Origin Series victories between 2006 and 2011.
Lockyer made his professional debut at 18-years-old as Brisbane ran out 60-14 victors over Parramatta Eels. He would go on to be named the Broncos’ Rookie of the Year for the 1995 season, with the first of numerous individual accolades he would claim during his 16-year career.
The full-back won three NRL Premierships with the Broncos. The first coming in 1997 with a 26-8 defeat of Cronulla Sharks in the Grand Final. Brisbane were also crowned World Club Champions that year after winning the extended 1997 World Club Challenge beating Hunter Mariners 36-12.
The Broncos would lift the title again in 1998 with a 38-12 win over Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. However, it was the 2000 Grand Final in which Lockyer really shone being awarded the Clive Churchill Medal for his performance in the Broncos’ 14-6 win over Sydney Roosters.
Lockyer would go on to win a fourth NRL Premiership with the club in 2006, playing in the halves following a positional adjustment at the start of the 2004 season. Brisbane earned a 15-8 victory over Melbourne Storm.
Lockyer retired having made 355 NRL appearances for the Broncos; more than any other player in Brisbane’s history. This means he sits third in the all-time NRL appearance charts behind only Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.