11 Oct 2011

Locke eyeing up battle with the world's best fullback

9:29 am on 11 October 2011

With the New Zealand rugby league team decimated by a host of prominent withdrawals, debutant Kevin Locke is set to be thrust into the starting fullback role for the Kiwi's one-off test against Australia in Newcastle on Sunday.

The match is the defending champion Kiwi's only warm-up ahead of the Four Nations tournament in England and will test the depth of the squad with twelve top-line players originally named now unavailable.

The Kiwi's now have seven uncapped players in the squad elevating Locke to senior player status despite his young age and complete lack of international experience.

The Warriors fullback will likely line-up against one of the games greatest ever number one's in Billy Slater for Sunday's test against the Kangaroos, and the 22-year-old is expecting some special attention from the Melbourne star.

The Kiwi's opening Four Nations clash is also against the Kangaroos in Warrington on October the 28th.