2 Aug 2011

Lockyer to get Sunday farewell

6:01 am on 2 August 2011

Australia's Nine Network is understood to be prepared to lose the ratings war to win the hearts of country Queenslanders by allowing Darren Lockyer a Sunday National Rugby League send-off in front of his adoring fans at Suncorp Stadium.

Should Brisbane fail to secure a home final, Lockyer's last Suncorp Stadium appearance would be their round 26 NRL blockbuster against Manly at Suncorp Stadium to be played some time over the September 2nd to 4th weekend.

Normally, Nine would show the match on Friday night, a major ratings winner for the network.

But a Friday night game would deny many Broncos fans from outside Brisbane the chance to travel to the match with their families, so Nine is believed to have consented to having it played on the Sunday.

Lockyer, who is believed to have agreed to a lucrative deal to join Nine's rugby league commentary team next year, initially declined to weigh into the debate before hedging his bets.

Brisbane however took up the fight for their fans, thousands of whom have already signed a petition delivered to the NRL last month.

The Broncos boss Paul White revealed the six-time premiers had been in deep discussions with the NRL and its host broadcaster to back a Sunday afternoon farewell party for their champion player.