Australian captain Darren Lockyer has announced he’ll end his
record-breaking rugby league playing career after this year and says he
has no immediate aims of coaching.

Lockyer said he felt the
timing would be right to move on after 17 seasons in first grade, and he
remains available for all representative games in 2011 including the
Four Nations tournament in England and Wales in October-November.

Brisbane skipper, who turned 34 last week, has played 336 NRL games for
the Broncos since his debut in 1995 and owns, or will own, many of the
individual records in the game.

He’s played a record 54 Tests for
Australia plus 33 State of Origin matches for Queensland and has led
the Broncos to four premierships.

Announcing his retirement plan,
a calm and collected Lockyer told reporters he didn’t want his decision
to turn the rest of the Broncos’ season into a “do it for Darren”

But there’s no doubt the players will do everything
possible to give him a farewell premiership, just as they did when Shane
Webcke hung up his boots in 2006.

“I’ve spoken to the boys already and that’s not how I want it to be,” said Lockyer.

“In `06 it was the perfect outcome for Webbie (Webcke) and I’d love to have another outcome like that.

as players we do it for ourselves, each other, our fans and our club.
This year shouldn’t be about me because I am finishing up.”

Lockyer discussed his plans with his longtime mentor Wayne Bennett during last month’s All Stars camp on the Gold Coast.

has been widespread speculation that Bennett may return to take the
coaching reins at Brisbane from next season, and some like to think he
could take Lockyer as his assistant and groom him for the role.

Lockyer said coaching was not on his immediate radar as he gets to
spend more time with his wife Loren and their young son Sunny James.

don’t have any desire (to coach) in the short term. That may change but
once the season finishes I am keen to have a break,” he said.

“After that, I might re-visit it.”

Lockyer was proud to have played all his 336 NRL games for the one club.

“I don’t think that will happen a lot,” he said.

Lockyer said his teammates were not fazed by his decision.

you’ve played for 17 years and you are 34 retirement is never far away
so I guess they weren’t too shocked by it,” he said.

“I told them I believed we could go a long way and that it wasn’t about me and to have a good crack and enjoy the season.”

Lockyer revealed he’d been sitting on his decision since January.

said he was already getting asked by journalists about 2012 and he
didn’t want to go down the path of constant speculation about his

“It’s out there now. Everyone knows what’s going on,” he said.

“I wanted to let the fans know and it gives the Broncos a chance to plan their playing roster for next year.”