Rivals reunited

RUGBY LEAGUE

SYDNEY ? Tomorrow night's second Origin may be a promot- er's dream, but Queensland cap- tain Darren Lockyer says his lat- est battle with champion Blues half Andrew Johns is not a "world title''.

At various stages during the past three or four years, Lockyer and Johns have held the title "world's best player''.

But Lockyer said yesterday his 13th meeting with Johns in the Origin ring would not settle argu-ments among fans as to who was the best player in rugby league.

"All I know is it's always a challenge playing against An- drew,'' said Lockyer.

"If you win, you feel like you have had a victory over a rival you've had a bit of confrontation with over the years.''

NSW fans regard Johns as one of the great players of all-time.

He's played 21 Origins ? 12 against Lockyer.

Not surprisingly there's not much between their head-to-head records since they first clashed in 1998 with Johns boasting six wins and Lockyer four victories ? there have also been two draws.

Johns will be a little underdone having played just nine games in two years following serious knee and jaw injuries. The two-time Golden Boot win- ner, however, is hungry after so long on the sidelines and he still has that aura that even makes champion players like Lockyer nervous.



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