Locke accepts time with Warriors could be up

DAVID LONG IN LONDON
Last updated 05:00 24/11/2013
Kevin Locke
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TO THE DOGS: Warriors fullback Kevin Locke is linked to a move to the Canterbury Bulldogs.

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Kiwis fullback Kevin Locke accepts that next year could be his last for the Warriors.

At the end of the recent NRL season, Sunday News revealed Locke had been given permission to talk to rival clubs after the Kiwi club signed English superstar and fellow fullback Sam Tomkins.

Locke was given a deadline of October 15 to find a new club and it is understood the Panthers, Bulldogs and Sharks all expressed interest in him.

But a new deal failed to materialise and Locke will now see out the final year of his contract.

Naturally, he is concerned about what it will be like for him at the Warriors next year. The club didn't fork out the biggest transfer fee in rugby league history to have Tomkins playing in the NSW Cup or out of position.

Locke knows it's not going to be easy, but he's determined to fight for his No 1 jersey.

"Next year is going to be a challenge for me, and I want to make it a challenge for him, too," Locke told Sunday News.

"If we're both challenging each other, and that goes right across team, just like we are here in Kiwis camp, you'll get the best out of everyone."

But given Tomkins has a three-year deal with the Warriors, and an option for a fourth, it is pretty obvious Locke will have to move on if he wants to get plenty of game-time at fullback.

While Locke can be inconsistent, he is still regarded as one of the best fullbacks in the NRL and too good to be playing second fiddle.

He is unsure of what lies ahead for him in 2015, but is determined not to let it get him down.

"If I am doing everything right, then opportunities will come," he said.

"In your league career, if you don't want it, it's easy to let go.

"It can all just fall apart like that and I've seen it happen with players I've played with. They have either lost interest in the game or just didn't work hard.

"Having him [Tomkins] come to the club will probably make me want to work harder.

"I will look for that opportunity to either get re-signed or if it comes down to it, moving clubs.

"I'll focus on 2014 first and see what challenges that brings. Hopefully I do get the opportunity to play next year.

"There are a lot of positions across the park that him and I can play in. I don't know what Matt [Elliott, Warriors coach] is thinking and I don't know what he's been told.

"So it's all up in the air for me and I'm just going to have to put my head down and make sure I'm doing everything right to show them that I've done all I can to be a part of the team and to get that opportunity.

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"If I'm not getting that opportunity, I can see where things are heading."

- Sunday News

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